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On the Crown

18.1Let me begin, men of Athens, by beseeching all the Powers of Heaven that on this trial I may find in Athenian hearts such benevolence towards me as I have ever cherished for the city and the people of Athens. My next prayer is for you, and for your conscience and honor. May the gods so inspire you that the temper with which you listen to my words shall be guided, not by my adversary— 18.2that would be monstrous indeed!— but by the laws and by the judicial oath, by whose terms among other obligations you are sworn to give to both sides an impartial hearing. The purpose of that oath is, not only that you shall discard all prejudice, not only that you shall show equal favor, but also that you shall permit every litigant to dispose and arrange his topics of defence according to his own discretion and judgement.

18.3Among many advantages which Aeschines holds over me in this contention, there are two, men of Athens, of great moment. In the first place, I have a larger stake on the issue; for the loss of your favor is far more serious to me than the loss of your verdict to him. For me, indeed—but let me say nothing inauspicious at the outset of my speech: I will only say that he accuses me at an advantage. Secondly, there is the natural disposition of mankind to listen readily to obloquy and invective, and to resent self-laudation. 18.4To him the agreeable duty has been assigned; the part that is almost always offensive remains for me. If as a safeguard against such offence, I avoid the relation of my own achievements, I shall seem to be unable to refute the charges alleged against me, or to establish my claim to any public distinction. Yet, if I address myself to what I have done, and to the part I have taken in politics, I shall often be obliged to speak about myself. Well, I will endeavor to do so with all possible modesty; and let the man who has initiated this controversy bear the blame of the egoism which the conditions force upon me.

18.5You must all be agreed, men of Athens, that in these proceedings I am concerned equally with Ctesiphon, and that they require from me no less serious consideration. Any loss, especially if inflicted by private animosity, is hard to bear; but to lose your goodwill and kindness is the most painful of all losses, as to gain them is the best of all acquisitions. 18.6Such being the issues at stake, I implore you all alike to listen to my defence against the accusations laid, in a spirit of justice. So the laws enjoin—the laws which Solon, who first framed them, a good democrat and friend of the people, thought it right to validate not only by their enactment but by the oath of the jury; 18.7not distrusting you, if I understand him aright, but perceiving that no defendant can defeat the charges and calumnies which the prosecutor prefers with the advantage of prior speech, unless every juryman receives with goodwill the pleas of the second speaker, as an obligation of piety to the gods by whom he has sworn, and forms no final conclusion upon the whole case until he has given a fair and impartial hearing to both sides.

18.8It appears that I have today to render account of the whole of my private life as well as of my public transactions. I must therefore renew my appeal to the gods; and in your presence I now beseech them, first that I may find in your hearts such benevolence towards me as I have ever cherished for Athens, and secondly that they will guide you to such a judgement upon this indictment as shall redound to the good repute of the jury, and to the good conscience of every several juryman.

18.9If then Aeschines had confined his charges to the matters alleged in the prosecution, I should have immediately addressed my defence to the resolution of the Council; but as he has wastefully devoted the greater part of his speech to irrelevant topics, mostly false accusations, I conceive it to be both fair and necessary, men of Athens, to say a few words first on those matters, lest any of you, misled by extraneous arguments, should listen with estrangement to my justification in respect of the indictment.

18.10To his abusive aspersion of my private life, I have, you will observe, an honest and straightforward reply. I have never lived anywhere but in your midst. If then you know my character to be such as he alleges, do not tolerate my voice, even if all my public conduct has been beyond praise, but rise and condemn me incontinently. But if, in your judgement and to your knowledge, I am a better man and better born than Aeschines, if you know me and my family to be, not to put it offensively, as good as the average of respectable people, then refuse credence to all his assertions, for clearly they are all fictitious, and treat me today with the same goodwill which throughout my life you have shown to me in many earlier contentions. 18.11Malicious as you are, Aeschines, you were strangely innocent when you imagined that I should turn aside from the discussion of public transactions to reply to your calumnies. I shall do nothing of the sort: I am not so infatuated. Your false and invidious charges against my political life I will examine; but later, if the jury wish to hear me, I will return to your outrageous ribaldry.

18.12The crimes he has laid to my charge are many, and to some of them the law has assigned severe and even capital punishment. But the purpose of this prosecution goes further: it includes private malice and violence, railing and vituperation, and the like; and yet for none of these accusations, if made good, is there any power at all in the state to inflict an adequate penalty, or anything like it. 18.13It is not right to debar a man from access to the Assembly and a fair hearing, still less to do so by way of spite and jealousy. No, by heavens, men of Athens, it is neither just, nor constitutional, nor honest! If he ever saw me committing crimes against the commonwealth, especially such frightful crimes as he described just now so dramatically, his duty was to avail himself of the legal penalties as soon as they were committed, impeaching me, and so putting me on my trial before the people, if my sins deserved impeachment, or indicting me for breach of the constitution, if I had proposed illegal measures. For, of course, if he prosecutes Ctesiphon now on my account, it is impossible that he would not have indicted me, with a certain hope of conviction! 18.14Yet if he detected me in any of the acts which he has recounted to my prejudice, or in any other iniquity, there are statutes dealing with those offences, punishments, legal processes, trials involving severe penalties and heavy fines; and any of these proceedings he might have taken. Had he so acted, had he in that way employed the methods applicable to my case, his denunciations would have been consistent with his conduct; 18.15but in fact he has deserted the path of right and justice, he has flinched from the proof of recent guilt, and then, after a long interval, he makes a hotchpotch of imputation and banter and scurrility, and stands on a false pretence, denouncing me, but indicting Ctesiphon. He sets in the forefront of the controversy his private quarrel with me, in which he has never confronted me fairly; yet he is avowedly seeking to disfranchise somebody else. 18.16There are many other arguments, men of Athens, to be pleaded on Ctesiphon's behalf, but this surely is eminently reasonable, that the honest course was to fight out our own quarrels by ourselves, not to turn aside from our antagonism and try to find some one else to injure. That is carrying iniquity too far!

18.17It is a fair inference that all his accusations are equally dishonest and untruthful. I wish, however, to examine them one by one, and especially the falsehoods he told to my discredit about the peace and the embassy, attributing to me what was really done by himself with the aid of Philocrates. It is necessary, men of Athens, and not improper, to remind you of the position of affairs in those days, so that you may consider each transaction with due regard to its occasion.

18.18When the Phocian war began—not by my fault, for I was still outside politics—you were at first disposed to hope that the Phocians would escape ruin, although you knew that they were in the wrong, and to exult over any misfortune that might befall the Thebans, with whom you were justly and reasonably indignant because of the immoderate use they had made of the advantage they gained at Leuctra. The Peloponnesus was divided. The enemies of the Lacedaemonians were not strong enough to destroy them; and the aristocrats whom the Lacedaemonians had put into power had lost control of the several states. In those states and everywhere else there was indiscriminate strife and confusion. 18.19Philip, observing these conditions, which were apparent enough, spent money freely in bribing traitorous persons in all the cities, and tried to promote embroilment and disorder. He based his designs on the errors and follies of others, and the growth of his power was perilous to us all. When it was evident that the Thebans, now fallen from arrogance to disaster, and much distressed by the prolongation of the war, would be compelled to seek the protection of Athens, Philip, to forestall such an appeal and coalition, offered peace to you and succor to them. 18.20Now what contributed to his success, when he found you ready to fall into his trap almost eagerly, was the baseness, or, if you prefer the term, the stupidity, or both, of the other Greek states. You were fighting a long and incessant war for purposes in which, as the event has proved, they were all concerned, and yet they helped you neither with money, nor with men, nor with anything else; and so, in your just and natural indignation, you readily accepted Philip's suggestion. The peace conceded to him at that time was due to the causes I have named, and not, as Aeschines maliciously insists, to me; and the misdeeds and the corruption of Aeschines and his party during that peace will be found, on any honest inquiry, to be the true cause of our present troubles. 18.21These distinctions and explanations I offer merely for the sake of accuracy; for if you should suppose that there was any guilt, or ever so much guilt, in that peace-making business, the suspicion does not concern me. The first man to raise the question of peace in a speech was Aristodemus, the actor, and the man who took up the cue, moved the resolution, and, with Aeschines, became Philip's hired agent, was Philocrates of Hagnus—your confederate, Aeschines, not mine, though you lie till you are black in the face. Their supporters in the debate were Eubulus and Cephisophon—on whose motives I have at present nothing to say. I never spoke in favor of the peace. 18.22And yet, though the facts are such and demonstrated to be such, he has the amazing impudence to tell you that I am to blame for the terms of peace, and that I stopped the city from arranging the terms in conjunction with a congress of the Greek states. Why, you, you—but I can find no epithet bad enough for you—was there any single occasion when you, having observed me in your presence trying to rob the state of a negotiation and of an alliance which you have just described as of the greatest importance, either made any protest, or rose to give the people any information whatsoever about the proceeding which you now denounce? 18.23Yet if I had really intrigued with Philip to stop a Panhellenic coalition, it was your business not to hold your peace, but to cry aloud, to protest, to inform the people. You did nothing of the sort. No one ever heard that fine voice of yours. Of course not; for at that time there was no embassy visiting any of the Greek states, but all the states had long ago been sounded, and there is not an honest word in his whole story. 18.24Moreover, his falsehoods are the worst of slanders upon Athens. If at one and the same time you were inviting the Greeks to make war and sending envoys to Philip to negotiate peace, you were playing a part worthy of Eurybatus note the impostor, not of a great city or of honest men. But it is false; it is false! For what purpose could you have summoned them at that crisis? For peace? They were all enjoying peace. For war? You were already discussing terms of peace. Therefore it is clear that I did not promote, and was in no way responsible for, the original peace, and that all his other calumnies are equally false.

18.25Now observe what policy we severally adopted after the conclusion of peace. You will thereby ascertain who acted throughout as Philip's agent, and who served your interests and sought the good of the city. I proposed in the Council that the ambassadors should sail without delay to any place where they might learn that Philip was to be found, and there receive from him the oath of ratification; but in spite of my resolution they refused to go. What was the reason of that refusal? 18.26I will tell you. It suited Philip's purposes that the interval should be as long, and ours that it should be as short as possible; for you had suspended all your preparations for war, not merely from the day of ratification, but from that on which you first began to expect peace. That was just what Philip was contriving all the time, expecting with good reason that he would hold safely any Athenian possessions which he might seize before the ratification, as no one would break the peace to recover them. 18.27Foreseeing that result, and appreciating its importance, I moved that the embassy should repair to the place where they would find Philip and swear him in without delay, in order that the oath might be taken while your allies the Thracians were still holding the places about which Aeschines was so sarcastic—Serrium, Myrtenum, and Ergisce—and that Philip might not get control of Thrace by seizing the positions of advantage and so providing himself amply with men and money for the furtherance of his ulterior designs. 18.28That decree Aeschines neither cites nor reads; though he mentions to my discredit that I suggested in Council that the Macedonian ambassadors should be introduced. What ought I to have done? Objected to the introduction of men who had come expressly to confer with you? Ordered the lessee not to give them reserved seats in the theatre? But they could have sat in the threepenny seats, if I had not moved my resolution. Or was it my business to take care of the public pence, and put up the state for sale, like Aeschines and his friends? Surely not. Please take and read this decree, which the prosecutor omitted, though he knows it well. 18.29Decree of Demosthenes

[In the archonship of Mnesiphilus, on the thirtieth day of Hecatombaeon, the tribe Pandionis then holding the presidency, Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, proposed that, whereas Philip has sent ambassadors and has agreed to articles of peace, it be resolved by the Council and People of Athens, with a view to the ratification of the peace as accepted by vote of the first Assembly, to choose at once five ambassadors from all the citizens; and that those so elected repair without delay wheresoever they ascertain Philip to be, and take and administer to him the oaths with all dispatch according to the articles agreed on between him and the People of Athens, including the allies on either side. The ambassadors chosen were Eubulus of Anaphlystus, Aeschines of Cothocidae, Cephisophon of Rhamnus, Democrates of Phlya, Cleon of Cothocidae.]

18.30My object in moving this decree was to serve Athens, not Philip. Nevertheless these excellent envoys took so little heed of it that they loitered in Macedonia for three whole months, until Philip returned from Thrace, having subdued the whole country; though they might have reached the Hellespont in ten or perhaps in three or four days, and rescued the outposts by receiving the oaths of ratification before Philip captured them. He dared not have touched them in our presence, or we should not have accepted his oath, and so he would have missed his peace, instead of gaining both his objects—peace and the strongholds as well.

18.31Such then is the history of the first act of knavery on Philip's part, and venality on the part of these dishonest men at the time of the embassy. For that act I avow that I was then, am still, and ever shall be their enemy and their adversary. I will next exhibit an act of still greater turpitude which comes next in order of time. 18.32When Philip had sworn to the peace, having first secured Thrace because of their disobedience to my decree, he bribed them to postpone our departure from Macedonia until he had made ready for his expedition against the Phocians. He was afraid that, if we reported that he intended and was already preparing to march, you would turn out and sail round with your fleet to Thermopylae, and block the passage, as you did before; and his object was that you should not receive our report until he had reached this side of Thermopylae and you were powerless. 18.33He was so nervous, and so much worried by the fear that, in spite of his Thracian success, his enterprise would slip from his fingers if you should intervene before the Phocians perished, that he made a new bargain with this vile creature—all by himself this time, no t in common with his colleagues— to make that speech and to render that report to you, by which all was lost. 18.34I earnestly beg you, men of Athens, to bear in mind throughout this trial that, if Aeschines had not gone outside the articles of indictment in his denunciation of me, I too would not have digressed; but as he has resorted to every sort of imputation and slander, I am compelled to reply briefly to all his charges in turn. 18.35What then were the speeches he made at that crisis—the speeches that brought everything to ruin? He told you that you need not be excited because Philip had passed Thermopylae; that, if only you kept quiet, you would get all you wanted, and would within two or three days learn that Philip was now the friend of those to whom he came as enemy, and the enemy of those to whom he came as friend. The bonds of amity, he declared, with his most impressive eloquence, are fortified not by words but by community of interest; and it was an interest common to Philip, to the Phocians, and to all of you alike, to be quit of the unfeeling and offensive behavior of the Thebans. 18.36Some of you were delighted to hear these remarks, for at that time we all disliked the Thebans. What was the result—not the distant, but the immediate result? That the Phocians perished and their cities were demolished; that you took his advice and kept quiet—and before long were carrying in your chattels from the country; and that Aeschines pocketed his fee. A further result was that Athens got all the ill will of the Thebans and Thessalians, and Philip all their gratitude for these transactions. 18.37To prove the truth of these statements, please read the decree of Callisthenes and Philip's letter, which will make every point clear.Decree

[In the archonship of Mnesiphilus, at an extraordinary assembly convened by the Generals and the Presidents, with the approval of the Council, on the twenty-first day of Maemacterion, Callisthenes, son of Eteonicus of Phalerum, proposed that no Athenian be allowed upon any pretext whatsoever to pass the night in the country, but only in the City and Peiraeus, except those stationed in the garrison; that the latter keep each the post assigned to him, leaving it neither by day nor by night. 18.38Any person disobeying this decree shall be liable to the statutory penalty for treason, unless he can prove inability to obey in his own case, such plea of inability to be judged by the General of the Infantry, the Paymaster-General, and the Secretary of the Council. All property in the country shall be immediately removed, if within a radius of 120 furlongs, to the City and Peiraeus; if outside this radius, to Eleusis, Phyle, Aphidna, Rhamnus, or Sunium. Proposed by Callisthenes of Phalerum.]

Was it with such expectation that you made the peace? Were these the promises of this hireling?

18.39Now read the letter sent to Athens afterwards by Philip.Letter

[Philip, King of Macedonia, to the Council and People of Athens, greeting. Know that we have passed within the Gates, and have subdued the district of Phocis. We have put garrisons in all the fortified places that surrendered voluntarily; those that did not obey we have stormed and razed to the ground, selling the inhabitants into slavery. Hearing that you are actually preparing an expedition to help them, I have written to you to save you further trouble in this matter. Your general policy strikes me as unreasonable, to agree to peace, and yet take the field against me, and that although the Phocians were not included in the ill terms upon which we agreed. Therefore if you decline to abide by your agreements, you will gain no advantage save that of being the aggressors.]

18.40Though the letter is addressed to you, it contains, as you hear, a distinct intimation intended for his own allies: “I have done this against the wishes and the interests of the Athenians. Therefore, if you Thebans and Thessalians are wise, you will treat them as your enemies, and put your confidence in me.” That is the meaning conveyed, though not in those words. By such delusions he carried them off their feet so completely that they had no foresight nor any inkling whatever of the sequel, but allowed him to take control of the whole business; and that is the real cause of their present distresses. 18.41And the man who was hand-in-glove with Philip, and helped him to win that blind confidence, who brought lying reports to Athens and deluded his fellow-citizens, was this same Aeschines who to day bewails the sorrows of the Thebans and recites their pitiful story, being himself guilty of those sorrows, guilty of the distresses of the Phocians, guilty of all the sufferings of every nation in Greece. Yes, Aeschines, beyond a doubt, you are sincerely grieved by that tale of woe, you are wrung with pity for the poor Thebans, you, who hold estates in Boeotia, you, who till the farms that once were theirs; it is I who exult—I, who was at once claimed as a victim by the perpetrator note of those wrongs!

18.42However, I have digressed to topics that will perhaps be more appropriately discussed later on. I return to my proof that the misdeeds of these men are the real cause of the present situation.

When you had been deluded by Philip through the agency of the men who took his pay when on embassy and brought back fictitious reports, and when the unhappy Phocians were likewise deluded, and all their cities destroyed, what happened? 18.43Those vile Thessalians and those ill-conditioned Thebans regarded Philip as their friend, their benefactor, and their deliverer. He was all in all to them; they would not listen to the voice of any one who spoke ill of him. You Athenians, though suspicious and dissatisfied, observed the terms of peace, for you could do nothing. The rest of the Greeks, though similarly overreached and disappointed, observed the peace; and yet in a sense the war against them had already begun; 18.44for when Philip was moving hither and thither, subduing Illyrians and Triballians, and some Greeks as well, when he was gradually getting control of large military resources, and when certain Greek citizens, including Aeschines, were availing themselves of the liberty of the peace to visit Macedonia and take bribes, all these movements were really acts of war upon the states against which Philip was making his preparations. That they failed to perceive it is another story, and does not concern me. 18.45My forebodings and expostulations were unceasing; I uttered them in the Assembly and in every city to which I was sent. But all the cities were demoralized. The active politicians were venal and corrupted by the hope of money: the unofficial classes and the people in general were either blind to the future or ensnared by the listlessness and indolence of their daily life; in all the malady had gone so far that they expected the danger to descend anywhere but upon themselves, and even hoped to derive their security at will from the perils of others. 18.46In the result, of course, the excessive and inopportune apathy of the common people has been punished by the loss of their independence, while their leaders, who fancied they were selling everything except themselves, discover too late that their own liberty was the first thing they sold. Instead of the name of trusty friend, in which they rejoiced when they were taking their bribes, they are dubbed toad-eaters and scoundrels, and other suitable epithets. What did they expect? 18.47Men of Athens, it is not because he wants to do a traitor a good turn that a man spends his money; nor, when he has once got what he paid for, has he any further use for the traitor's counsels. Otherwise treason would be the most profitable of all trades. But it is not so. How could it be? Far from it! As soon as the man who grasps at power has achieved his purpose, he is the master of those who sold him his mastery; and then—yes, then!—knowing their baseness, he loathes them, mistrusts them, and reviles them. 18.48Look at these instances, because, though the right time for action is past, for wise men it is always the right time to understand history. Lasthenes was hailed as friend—until he betrayed Olynthus; Timolaus, until he brought Thebes to ruin; Eudicus and Simus of Larissa, until they put Thessaly under Philip's heel. Since then the whole world has become crowded with men exiled, insulted, punished in every conceivable way. What of Aristratus at Sicyon? or Perilaus note at Megara? Are they not outcasts? 18.49From these examples it may be clearly discerned that the man who is most vigilant in defence of his country and most vigorous in his opposition to treason—he is the man, Aeschines, who provides you traitors and mercenaries with something that you can betray for a bribe; and, if you are still secure and still drawing your pay, you owe this to the great majority of these citizens, and to those who thwarted your purposes—for your own efforts would long ago have brought you to destruction.

18.50I could say much more about the history of that time, but I suppose that what has been said is more than enough. My antagonist is to blame, for he has so bespattered me with the sour dregs of his own knavery and his own crimes, that I was obliged to clear myself in the eyes of men too young to remember those transactions. But it has perhaps been wearisome to you, who, before I said a word, knew all about his venality. 18.51However, he calls it friendship and amity; and only just now he spoke of “the man who taunts me with the friendship of Alexander.” I taunt you with the friendship of Alexander! Where did you get it? How did you earn it? I am not out of my mind, and I would never call you the friend either of Philip or Alexander, unless we are to call a harvester or other hired laborer the friend of the man who pays him for his job. 18.52But it is not so. How could it be? Far from it! I call you Philip's hireling of yesterday, and Alexander's hireling of today, and so does every man in this Assembly. If you doubt my word, ask them; or rather I will ask them myself. Come, men of Athens, what do you think? Is Aeschines Alexander's hireling, or Alexander's friend? You hear what they say.

18.53I propose then at last to come to my defence against the actual indictment, and to a recital of my public acts, that Aeschines may hear from me what he knows perfectly well, the grounds on which I claim that I deserve even larger rewards than those proposed by the Council. Please take and read the indictment. 18.54Indictment

[In the archonship of Chaerondas, on the sixth day of Elaphebolion, Aeschines, son of Atrometus, of Cothocidae, indicted Ctesiphon, son of Leosthenes, of Anaphlystus, before the Archon for a breach of the constitution, in that he proposed an unconstitutional decree, to wit, that Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania should be crowned with a golden crown, and that proclamation should be made in the theatre at the Great Dionysia, when the new tragedies are produced, that “the People crown Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, with a golden crown for his merit and for the goodwill which he has constantly displayed both towards all the Greeks and towards the people of Athens, and also for his steadfastness, and because he has constantly by word and deed promoted the best interests of the people, and is forward to do whatever good he can,” 18.55all these proposals being false and unconstitutional, inasmuch as the laws forbid, first, the entry of false statements in the public records; secondly, the crowning of one liable to audit (now Demosthenes is Commissioner of Fortifications and a trustee of the Theatrical Fund); thirdly, the proclamation of the crown in the Theatre at the Dionysia the day of the new tragedies; but if the crowning is by the Council, it shall be proclaimed in the Council-house, if by the State, in the Assembly on the Pnyx. Fine demanded: fifty talents. Witnesses to summons: Cephisophon, son of Cephisophon, of Rhamnus, Cleon, son of Cleon, of Cothocidae.]

18.56These are the clauses of the decree against which this prosecution is directed; but from these very clauses I hope to prove to your satisfaction that I have an honest defence to offer. For I will take the charges one by one in the same order as the prosecutor, without any intentional omission. 18.57Now take first the clause which recites that in word and deed I have constantly done my best for the common weal, and that I am ever zealous to do all the good in my power, and which commends me on those grounds. Your judgement on that clause must, I take it, depend simply on my public acts, by examining which you will discover whether Ctesiphon has given a true and proper, or a false, description of my conduct. 18.58As for his proposing that a crown should be given to me, and the decoration proclaimed in the Theatre, without adding the words, “provided he shall first have rendered his accounts,” I conceive that that also is related to my public acts, whether I am, or am not, worthy of the crown and of the proclamation before the people; but I have, however, also to cite the statutes that authorize such a proposal. In this way, men of Athens, I am resolved to offer an honest and straightforward defence. I will proceed at once to the history of my own actions; 18.59and let no one imagine that I am straying from the indictment if I touch upon Hellenic policy and Hellenic questions; for by attacking as mendacious that clause of the decree which alleges that in word and deed I have acted for the common good, it is Aeschines who has made a discussion of the whole of my public life necessary and pertinent to the indictment. Further, out of many spheres of public activity I chose Hellenic affairs as my province, and therefore I am justified in taking Hellenic policy as the basis of my demonstration.

18.60Well, I pass by those successes which Philip achieved and maintained before I became a politician and a public speaker, as I do not think that they concern me. I will, however, remind you of enterprises of his which were thwarted after the day on which I entered public life. Of these I will render an account, premising only that Philip started with this enormous advantage. 18.61In all the Greek states—not in some but in every one of them—it chanced that there had sprung up the most abundant crop of traitorous, venal, and profligate politicians ever known within the memory of mankind. These persons Philip adopted as his satellites and accomplices. The disposition of Greeks towards one another was already vicious and quarrelsome and he made it worse. Some he cajoled; some he bribed; some he corrupted in every possible way. He split them into many factions, although all had one common interest—to thwart his aggrandizement. 18.62Now seeing that all Greece was in such a plight, and still unconscious of a gathering and ever-growing evil, what was the right policy for Athens to adopt, and the right action for her to take? That is the question, men of Athens, which you ought to consider, and that is the issue on which I ought to be called to account; for I was the man who took up a firm position in that department of your public affairs. 18.63Was it the duty of our city, Aeschines, to abase her pride, to lower her dignity, to rank herself with Thessalians and Dolopians, to help Philip to establish his supremacy over Greece, to annihilate the glories and the prerogatives of our forefathers? Or, if she rejected that truly shameful policy, was she to stand by and permit aggressions which she must have long foreseen, and knew would succeed if none should intervene? 18.64I would now like to ask the man who censures our past conduct most severely, what party he would have wished our city to join. The party that shares the guilt of all the disasters and dishonors that have befallen Greece,—the party, as one may say, of the Thessalians and their associates? Or that which permitted those disasters in the hope of selfish gain, the party in which we may include the Arcadians, the Messenians, and the Argives? 18.65Why, the fate of many, indeed of all, of those nations is worse than ours. For if, after his victory, Philip had at once taken himself off, and relapsed into inactivity, harassing neither his own allies nor any other Greeks, there might have been some reason for finding fault with the opponents of his enterprises; but seeing that, wherever he could, he destroyed the prestige, the authority, the independence, and even the constitution of every city alike, who can deny that you chose the most honor able of all policies when you followed my advice?

18.66To resume my argument: I ask you, Aeschines, what was the duty of Athens when she perceived that Philip's purpose was to establish a despotic empire over all Greece? What language, what counsels, were incumbent upon an adviser of the people at Athens, of all places in the world, when I was conscious that, from the dawn of her history to the day when I first ascended the tribune, our country had ever striven for primacy, and honor, and renown, and that to serve an honor able ambition and the common welfare of Greece she had expended her treasure and the lives of her sons far more generously than any other Hellenic state fighting only for itself; 18.67and knowing as I did that our antagonist Philip himself, contending for empire and supremacy, had endured the loss of his eye, the fracture of his collar-bone, the mutilation of his hand and his leg, and was ready to sacrifice to the fortune of war any and every part of his body, if only the life of the shattered remnant should be a life of honor and renown? 18.68Surely no man will dare to call it becoming that in a man reared at Pella, then a mean and insignificant city, such lofty ambition should be innate as to covet the dominion of all Greece, and admit that aspiration to his soul, while you, natives of Athens, observing day by day, in every speech you hear and ill every spectacle you behold, memorials of the high prowess of your forefathers, should sink to such cowardice as by a spontaneous, voluntary act to surrender your liberty to a Philip. 18.69No one will make that assertion. The only remaining, and the necessary, policy was to resist with justice all his unjust designs. That policy was adopted by you from the start in a spirit that well became you, and forwarded by me in all my proposals, according to the opportunities of my public life. I admit the charge. Tell me; what ought I to have done? I put the question to you, Aeschines, dismissing for the moment everything else—Amphipolis, Pydna, Potidaea, Halonnesus. I have no recollection of those places. 18.70Serrium, Doriscus, the sack of Peparethus, and all other injuries of our city—I ignore them utterly. Yet you told us that I entangled the citizens in a quarrel by my talk about those places, though every resolution that concerned them was moved by Eubulus, or Aristophon, or Diopeithes, not by me; only you allege so glibly whatever suits your purpose! 18.71Even now I will not discuss them. But here was a man annexing Euboea and making it a basis of operations against Attica, attacking Megara, occupying Oreus, demolishing Porthmus, establishing the tyranny of Philistides at Oreus and of Cleitarchus at Eretria, subjugating the Hellespont, besieging Byzantium, destroying some of the Greek cities, reinstating exiled traitors in others: by these acts was he, or was he not, committing injustice, breaking treaty, and violating the terms of peace? Was it, or was it not, right that some man of Grecian race should stand forward to stop those aggressions? 18.72If it was not right, if Greece was to present the spectacle, as the phrase goes, of the looting of Mysia, note while Athenians still lived and breathed, then I am a busybody, because I spoke of those matters, and Athens, too, is a busybody because she listened to me; and let all her misdeeds and blunders be charged to my account! But if it was right that some one should intervene, on whom did the duty fall, if not on the Athenian democracy? That then was my policy. I saw a man enslaving all mankind, and I stood in his way. I never ceased warning you and admonishing you to surrender nothing.

18.73The peace was broken by Philip, when he seized those merchantmen; not by Athens, Aeschines. Produce the decrees, and Philip's letter, and read them in their proper order. They will show who was responsible for each several proceeding.Decree

[In the archonship of Neocles, in the month Boedromion, at an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly convened by the Generals, Eubulus, son of Mnesitheus, of Coprus, proposed that, whereas the generals have announced in the assembly that the admiral Leodamas and the twenty ships under his command, sent to the Hellespont to convoy corn, have been removed to Macedon by Philip's officer, Amyntas, and are there kept in custody, it shall be the concern of the presidents and of the generals that the Council be convened and ambassadors chosen to go to Philip; 18.74that on their arrival they shall confer with him about the seizure of the admiral and the ships and the soldiers, and, if Amyntas acted in ignorance, they shall say that the people attach no blame to him; or, if the admiral was caught exceeding his instructions, that the Athenians will investigate the matter, and punish him as his carelessness shall deserve; if, on the other hand, neither of these suppositions is true, but it was a deliberate affront on the part either of the officer or of his superior, they shall state the same, in order that the people, being apprised of it, may decide what course to take.]

18.75This decree was drawn up by Eubulus, not by me; the next in order by Aristophon; then we have Hegesippus, then Aristophon again, then Philocrates, then Cephisophon, and so on. I proposed no decree dealing with these matters. Go on reading.Decree

[In the archonship of Neocles, on the thirtieth day of Boedromion, by sanction of the Council, the Presidents and Generals introduced the report of the proceedings in the Assembly, to wit, that the People had resolved that ambassadors be chosen to approach Philip concerning the removal of the vessels, and instructions be given them in accordance with the decrees of the Assembly. The following were chosen: Cephisophon, son of Cleon, of Anaphlystus, Democritus, son of Demophon, of Anagyrus, Polycritus, son of Apemantus, of Cothocidae. In the presidence of the tribe Hippothontis, proposed by Aristophon, of Collytus, a president.]

18.76As I cite these decrees, Aeschines, you must cite some decree by proposing which I became responsible for the war. But you cannot cite one; if you could, there is no document which you would have produced more readily just now. Why, even Philip's letter casts no blame upon me in respect of the war: he imputes it to other men. Read Philip's actual letter. 18.77Letter

[Philip, King of Macedonia, to the Council and People of Athens, greeting.—Your ambassadors, Cephisophon and Democritus and Polycritus, visited me and discussed the release of the vessels commanded by Leodamas. Now, speaking generally, it seems to me that you will be very simple people if you imagine that I do not know that the vessels were sent ostensibly to convey corn from the Hellespont to Lemnos, but really to help the Selymbrians, who are being besieged by me and are not included in the articles of friendship mutually agreed upon between us. 18.78These instructions were given to the admiral, without the cognizance of the Athenian People, by certain officials and by others who are now out of office, but who were anxious by every means in their power to change the present friendly attitude of the people towards me to one of open hostility, being indeed much more zealous for this consummation than for the relief of the Selymbrians. They conceive that such a policy will be a source of income to themselves; it does not, however, strike me as profitable either for you or for me. Therefore the vessels now in my harbors I hereby release to you; and for the future, if, instead of permitting your statesmen to pursue this malicious policy, you will be good enough to c ensure them, I too will endeavor to preserve the peace. Farewell.]

18.79In this letter there is no mention of the name of Demosthenes, nor any charge against me. Why does he forget my acts, when he blames others? Because he could not mention me without recalling his own transgressions, on which I fixed my attention, and which I strove to resist. I began by proposing the embassy to Peloponnesus, when first he tried to get a footing there; then the embassy to Euboea, when he was tampering with Euboea; then an expedition— not an embassy—to Oreus, and again to Eretria, when he had set up tyrants in those cities. 18.80Subsequently I dispatched all those squadrons by which the Chersonese was rescued from him, and Byzantium, and all our allies. By this policy you gained much glory, receiving commendations, eulogies, compliments, decorations, and votes of thanks from the recipients of y our favors. Of the nations that suffered aggression, those who followed your advice gained their salvation, while those who scorned it have had many occasions since to remember your warnings, and to acknowledge not only your goodwill but your sagacity and foresight, for everything has turned out as you predicted. 18.81Now that Philistides would have paid a large sum for possession of Oreus, and Cleitarchus for possession of Eretria, and Philip himself to get those advantages of position against you, or to escape conviction in other matters or any inquiry into his wrongdoing in every quarter, is well known to all—and to no one better than to you, Aeschines. 18.82For the ambassadors who came here from Cleitarchus and Philistides lodged at your house and you entertained them. The government expelled them as enemies, and as men whose proposals were dishonest and unacceptable; but to you they were friends. Well, no part of their business was successful,—you backbiter, who tell me that I hold my tongue with a fee in my pocket, and cry aloud when I have spent it! That is not your habit; you cry aloud without ceasing, and nothing will ever stop your mouth,—except perhaps a sentence of disfranchisement this very day.

18.83Although at that time you decorated me for my services, although Aristonicus drafted the decree in the very same terms that Ctesiphon has now used, although the decoration was proclaimed in the theatre, so that this is the second proclamation of my name there, Aeschines, who was present, never opposed the decree, nor did he indict the proposer. Take and read the decree in question. 18.84Decree

[In the archonship of Chaerondas, son of Hegemon, on the twenty-fifth day of Gamelion, the tribe Leontis holding the presidency, Aristonicus of Phrearrii proposed that, whereas Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, has conferred many great obligations on the People of Athens, and has aided many of the Allies by his decrees both heretofore and upon the present occasion, and has liberated some of the cities of Euboea, and is a constant friend of the Athenian People, and by word and deed does his utmost in the interests of the Athenians themselves as well as of the other Greeks, it be resolved by the Council and People of Athens to commend Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, and to crown him with a golden crown, and to proclaim the crown in the Theatre at the Dionysia at the performance of the new tragedies, the proclamation of the crown being entrusted to the tribe holding the presidency and to the steward of the festival. Proposed by Aristonicus of Phrearrii.]

18.85Is any one of you aware of any dishonor, contempt, or ridicule that has befallen the city in consequence of that decree, such as he now tells you will follow, if I am crowned? While acts are still recent and notorious, they are requited with gratitude, if good, and with punishment, if evil, and from this decree it appears that I received on that occasion gratitude, not censure nor punishment.

18.86Therefore, up to the date of those transactions it is shown by common consent that my conduct was entirely beneficial to the commonwealth. The proofs are, that my speeches and motions were successful at your deliberations; that my resolutions were carried into effect; that thereby decorations came to the city and to all of you as well as to me; and that for these successes you thanked the gods with sacrifices and processions.

18.87When Philip was driven out of Euboea by your arms, and also,—though these men choke themselves with their denials,—by my policy and my decrees, he cast about for a second plan of attack against Athens; and observing that we consume more imported corn than any other nation, he proposed to get control of the carrying trade in corn. He advanced towards Thrace, and the first thing he did was to claim the help of the Byzantines as his allies in the war against you. When they refused, declaring with entire truth that the terms of alliance included no such obligation, he set up a stockade against their city, planted artillery, and began a siege. 18.88I will not further ask what was your proper course in those circumstances,—the answer is too obvious. But who sent reinforcements to the Byzantines and delivered them? Who prevented the estrangement of the Hellespont at that crisis? You, men of Athens; and when I say you, I mean the whole city. Who advised the city, moved the resolutions, took action, devoted himself wholeheartedly and without stint to that business? 18.89I did; and I need not argue how profitable my policy was, for you know it by experience. The war in which we then engaged, apart from the renown it brought to you, made all the necessaries of life more abundant and cheaper than the peace we now enjoy, the peace which these worthies cherish to the disadvantage of the city, in view of future expectations! May those expectations fail! May they share only the blessings for which you men of honest intent supplicate the gods! And may they never bestow upon you any share in the principles they have chosen! Now read of the crowns of the Byzantines and of the Perinthians, conferred by them upon the city for these services. 18.90Decree of the Byzantines

[In the recordership of Bosporichus, Damagetus proposed in the Assembly, with the sanction of the Council, that, whereas the Athenian People in former times have been constant friends of the Byzantines and of their allies and kinsmen the Perinthians, and have conferred many great services upon them, and recently, when Philip of Macedon attacked their land and city to exterminate the Byzantines and Perinthians, burning and devastating the land, they came to our aid with a hundred and twenty ships and provisions and arms and infantry, and extricated us from great dangers, and restored our original constitution and our laws and our sepulchres, 18.91it be resolved by the People of Byzantium and Perinthus to grant to the Athenians rights of intermarriage, citizenship, tenure of land and houses, the seat of honor at the games, access to the Council and the people immediately after the sacrifices, and immunity from all public services for those who wish to settle in our city; also to erect three statues, sixteen cubits in height, in the Bosporeum, representing the People of Athens being crowned by the Peoples of Byzantium and Perinthus; also to send deputations to the Panhellenic gatherings, the Isthmian, Nemean, Olympian, and Pythian games, and there to proclaim the crown wherewith the Athenian People has been crowned by us, that the Greeks may know the merits of the Athenians and the gratitude of the Byzantines and the Perinthians.]

18.92Read also of the crowns awarded by the inhabitants of the Chersonese.Decree of the Chersonesites

[The peoples of the Chersonesus inhabiting Sestus, Elaeus, Madytus, and Alopeconnesus, do crown the Council and People of Athens with a golden crown of sixty talents' value, note and erect an altar to Gratitude and to the People of Athens, because they have been a contributory cause of all the greatest blessings to the peoples of the Chersonesus, having rescued them from Philip and restored their fatherland, their laws, their freedom, and their temples; also in all time to come they will not fail to be grateful and to do them every service in their power. This decree was passed in Confederate Council.]

18.93Thus my considered policy was not only successful in delivering the Chersonese and Byzantium, in preventing the subjugation of the Hellespont to Philip, and in bringing distinction to the city, but it exhibited to mankind the noble spirit of Athens and the depravity of Philip. For he, the ally of the Byzantines, was besieging them in the sight of all men: could anything be more discreditable and outrageous? 18.94But you, who might with justice have found fault with them for earlier acts of trespass, so far from being vindictive and deserting them in their distress, appeared as their deliverers, and by that conduct won renown,—the goodwill of the whole world. Moreover all know that you have awarded crowns to many politicians; but no one can name any man—I mean any statesman or orator—except me, by whose exertions the city itself has been crowned.

18.95I wish to show you that the attack Aeschines made on the Euboeans and the Byzantines by raking up old stories of their disobliging conduct towards you, was mere spiteful calumny,—not only because, as I think you all must know, those stories are false, but because, even if they were entirely true, the merits of my policy are not affected,—by relating, with due brevity, two or three of the noble actions of your own commonwealth; for the public conduct of a state, like the private conduct of a man, should always be guided by its most honor able traditions. 18.96When the Lacedaemonians, men of Athens, had the supremacy of land and sea, and were holding with governors and garrisons all the frontiers of Attica, Euboea, Tanagra, all Boeotia, Megara, Aegina, Ceos, and the other islands, for at that time Athens had no ships and no walls, you marched out to Haliartus, note and again a few days later to Corinth. The Athenians of those days had good reason to bear malice against the Corinthians and the Thebans for their conduct during the Decelean War; but they bore no malice whatever. 18.97Yet in making both these expeditions, Aeschines, they were not requiting benefits received, and they knew they were taking risks. They did not use those pleas as excuses for deserting men who had sought their protection. For the sake of honor and glory they willingly encountered those perils,—a righteous and a noble resolve! For every man death is the goal of life, though he keep himself cloistered in his chamber; but it behoves the brave to set their hands to every noble enterprise, bearing before them the buckler of hope, and to endure gallantly whatever fate God may allot. 18.98So your forefathers played their part; so also did the elder among yourselves. The Lacedaemonians were no friends or benefactors of ours; they had done many grievous wrongs to our commonwealth; but when the Thebans, after their victory at Leuctra, threatened to exterminate them, you balked that revenge, without fear of the prowess and high repute of the Thebans, without thought of the past misdeeds of the people for whom you imperilled yourselves. 18.99And so you taught to all Greece the lesson that, however gravely a nation may have offended against you, you keep your resentment for proper occasions, but if ever their life or their liberty is endangered, you will not indulge your rancor or take your wrongs into account.

Not only towards the Lacedaemonians have you so demeaned yourselves; but when the Thebans were trying to annex Euboea, you were not indifferent; you did not call to mind the injuries you had suffered from Themiso and Theodorus in the matter of Oropus; you carried aid even to them. That was in the early days of the volunteer trierarchs, of whom I was one; but I say nothing of that now. 18.100Your deliverance of the island was a generous act, but still more generously, when you had their lives and their cities at your mercy, you restored them honestly to men who had sinned against you, forgetting your wrongs where you found yourselves trusted. I pass over ten thousand instances I could cite,—battles by sea, expeditions by land, campaigns of ancient date and of our own times, in all of which Athens engaged herself for the freedom and salvation of Greece. 18.101Having before my eyes the spectacle of a city in all those great enterprises ready to fight the battles of her neighbors, what advice was I to give and what policy to urge, when her deliberations in some measure concerned herself? To bear malice against men who were seeking deliverance? To search for excuses for deserting the common cause? Should I not have deserved death if even in word I had sought to tarnish our honor able traditions? In word, I say; for the deed you would never have done. Of that I am well assured, for if you so wished, what stood in your way? Was it not in your power? Were not Aeschines and his friends there to advise you?

18.102I will now return to my next ensuing public actions; consider them once again in relation to the best interests of the commonwealth. Observing that the navy was going to pieces, that the wealthy were let off with trifling contributions, while citizens of moderate or small means were losing all they had, and that as a result the government was missing its opportunities, I made a statute under which I compelled the wealthy to take their fair share of expense, stopped the oppression of the poor, and, by a measure of great public benefit, caused your naval preparations to be made in good time. 18.103Being indicted for this measure, I stood my trial before this court and was acquitted, the prosecutor not getting the fifth part of the votes. Now how much money do you think the first, second, and third classes of contributors on the Naval Boards offered me not to propose the measure, or, failing that, to put it on the list and then drop it on demurrer note?\b It was so large a sum, men of Athens, that I hardly like to name it. 18.104It was natural that they should make this attempt. Under the former statutes they might discharge their public services in groups of sixteen, spending little or nothing themselves, but grinding down the needy citizens, whereas by my statute they had to return the full assessment according to their means, and a man who was formerly one of sixteen contributors to a single trireme—for they were dropping the term trierarch and calling themselves contributors-might have to furnish two complete vessels. They offered any amount to get the new rules abrogated and escape their just obligation. 18.105Read first the decree,.for which I was indicted and tried, and then the schedules as compiled under the old statute under my statute.Decree

[In the archonship of Polycles, on the sixteenth of the month Boëdromion, the tribe Hippothontis holding the presidency, Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, introduced a bill to amend the former law constituting the syndicates for the equipment of triremes. The bill was passed by the Council and the People, and Patrocles of Phlya indicted Demosthenes for a breach of the constitution, and, not obtaining the required proportion of votes, paid the fee of five hundred drachmas.]

Now read that fine schedule.Schedule

[The trierarchs to be called up, sixteen for each trireme, from the associations of joint contributors, from the age of twenty-five to that of forty, paying equal contributions to the public service.]

18.106Now read for comparison the schedule under my statute.Schedule

[The trierarchs to be chosen according to the assessment of their property at ten talents to a trireme; if the property be assessed above that sum, the public service shall be fixed proportionately up to three triremes and a tender. The same proportion shall be observed where those whose property is under ten talents form a syndicate to make up that sum.]

18.107Do you think it was a trifling relief I gave to the poor, or a trifling sum that the rich would have spent to escape their obligation? I pride myself not only on my refusal of compromise and on my acquittal, but also on having enacted a beneficial law and proved it such by experience. During the whole war, while the squadrons were organized under my regulations, no trierarch made petition as aggrieved, or appeared as a suppliant in the dockyard temple, note or was imprisoned by the Admiralty, and no ship was either abandoned at sea and lost to the state, or left in harbor as unseaworthy. 18.108Such incidents were frequent under the old regulations, because the public services fell upon poor men, and impossible demands were often made. I transferred the naval obligations from needy to well-to-do people, and so the duty was always discharged. I also claim credit for the very fact that all the measures I adopted brought renown and distinction and strength to the city, and that no measure of mine was invidious, or vexatious, or spiteful, or shabby and unworthy of Athens. 18.109You will find that I maintained the same character both in domestic and in Hellenic policy. At home I never preferred the gratitude of the rich to the claims of the poor; in foreign affairs I never coveted the gifts and the friendship of Philip rather than the common interests of all Greece.

18.110My remaining task, I think, is to speak of the proclamation and of the audit; for I hope that what I have already said has been sufficient to satisfy you that my policy was the best, and that I have been the people's friend, and zealous in your service. Yet I pass by the most important of my public actions, first, because I conceive that my next duty is to submit my explanations in respect of the actual charge of illegality, secondly, because, though I say nothing further about the rest of my policy, your own knowledge will serve my purpose equally well.

18.111As for Aeschines' topsy-turvy miscellany of arguments about the statutes transcribed for comparison, note I vow to Heaven that I do not believe that you understand the greater part of them, and I am sure they were quite unintelligible to me. I can only offer a plain, straightforward plea on the rights of the matter. So far from claiming, as he invidiously suggested just now, that I am not to be called to account, I fully admit that all my life long I have been accountable for all my official acts and public counsels; 18.112but for the donations that I promised and gave at my own expense I do say that I am not accountable at any time— you hear that, Aeschines—nor is any other man, though he be one of the nine archons. Is there any law so compact of iniquity and illiberality that, when a man out of sheer generosity has given away his own money, it defrauds him of the gratitude he has earned, drags him before a set of prying informers, and gives them authority to hold an audit of his free donations? There is no such law. If he contradicts me, let him produce the law, and I will be satisfied and hold my peace. 18.113But no, the law does not exist, men of Athens; only this man, with his pettifogging spite, because, when I was in charge of the theatric fund, I added gifts of my own to that fund, says, “Ctesiphon gave him a vote of thanks before he had rendered his accounts.” Yes, but the vote of thanks did not concern the accounts which I had to render; it was for my own donations, you pettifogger! “But you were also a Commissioner of Fortifications.” Why, that is how I earned my vote of thanks: I made a present of the money I had spent, and did not charge it to the public account. The account requires an audit and checkers; the benefaction deserves gratitude and formal thanks, and that is the very reason for Ctesiphon's proposition. 18.114That this distinction is recognized both in the statutes and in your moral feelings I can prove by many instances. Nausicles, for example, has been repeatedly decorated by you for the money he spent out of his own pocket when serving as military commander. When Diotimus, and on another occasion Charidemus, had made a present of shields, they were crowned. Then there is our friend Neoptolemus, who has received distinctions for donations given by him as Commissioner for sundry public works. It would be quite intolerable that it should either be illegal for a man holding any office to make presents to the government, or that, when he has made them, instead of receiving thanks, he should be subjected to an audit. 18.115To prove the truth of my statement, please take and read the actual words of the decrees made in the cases I have cited. Read.Decree

[Archonship of Demonicus of Phlya, on the twenty-sixth day of Boedromion, with sanction of Council and People: Callias of Phrearrii proposed that the Council and People resolve to crown Nausicles, the commander of the infantry, because, when Philo, the official paymaster, was prevented by storms from sailing with pay for the two thousand Athenian infantry serving in Imbros to assist the Athenian residents in that island, he paid them from his private means, and did not send in a claim to the people; and that the crown be proclaimed at the Dionysia at the performance of the new tragedies.] 18.116Another Decree
[Proposed by Callias of Phrearrii, and put to vote by the presidents, with sanction of Council: that, whereas Charidemus, dispatched to Salamis in command of the infantry, and Diotimus, commanding the cavalry, when in the battle at the river some of the soldiers had been disarmed by the enemy, did at their own expense arm the younger men with eight hundred shields, it be resolved by the Council and People to crown Charidemus and Diotimus with a golden crown, and to proclaim it at the great Panathenaea during the gymnastic contest, and at the Dionysia at the performance of the new tragedies; and that the proclamation be entrusted to the judicial archons, the presidents, and the stewards of the festival.]

18.117Every one of the persons mentioned, Aeschines, was liable to audit in respect of the office he held, but not of the services for which he was decorated. It follows that I am not liable; for, surely, I have the same rights under the same conditions as anybody else! I made donations. For those donations I am thanked, not being subject to audit for what I gave. I held office. Yes, and I have submitted to audit for my offices, though not for my gifts. Ah, but perhaps I was guilty of official misconduct? Well, the auditors brought me into court—and no complaint from you!

18.118To prove that Aeschines himself testifies that I have been crowned for matters in which I was audit-free, take and read the whole of the decree that was drawn in my favor. The proof that his prosecution is vindictive will appear from those sentences in the provisional decree which he has not indicted. Read.Decree

[In the archonship of Euthycles, on the twenty-third day of Pyanepsion, the tribe Oeneis then holding the presidency, Ctesiphon, son of Leosthenes, of Anaphlystus, proposed that, whereas Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, having been appointed superintendent of the repair of the fortifications, and having spent upon the works three talents from his private means, has made the same a benevolence to the people; and whereas, having been appointed treasurer of the Theatrical Fund, he gave to the representatives of all the tribes one hundred minas for sacrifices, it be resolved by the Council and People of Athens to commend the said Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, for his merits and for the generosity which he has constantly displayed on every occasion towards the People of Athens, and to crown him with a golden crown, and to proclaim the crown in the theatre at the Dionysia at the performance of the new tragedies and that the proclamation be entrusted to the steward of the festival.]

18.119Here, then, are my donations, in the decree—but not in your indictment. Your prosecution is directed to the rewards which the Council says that I ought to receive for them. Acceptance of gifts you admit to be legal; gratitude for gifts you indict for illegality. In Heaven's name, what do we mean by dishonesty and malignity, if you are not dishonest and malignant?

18.120As for the proclamation in the Theatre, I will not insist that thousands of names have been a thousand times so proclaimed, nor that I myself have been crowned again and again before now. But, really now, are you so unintelligent and blind, Aeschines, that you are incapable of reflecting that a crown is equally gratifying to the person crowned wheresoever it is proclaimed, but that the proclamation is made in the Theatre merely for the sake of those by whom it is conferred? For the whole vast audience is stimulated to do service to the commonwealth, and applauds the exhibition of gratitude rather than the recipient; and that is the reason why the state has enacted this statute. Please take and read it.Law

[In cases where crowns are bestowed by any of the townships, the proclamation of the crown shall be made within the respective townships, unless the crown is bestowed by the People of Athens or by the Council, in which case it shall be lawful to proclaim it in the Theatre at the Dionysia.]

18.121You hear, Aeschines, how the statute expressly makes an exception: “persons named in any decree of the Council or the Assembly always excepted. They are to be proclaimed.” Then why this miserable pettifogging? Why these insincere arguments? Why do you not try hellebore for your complaint? Are you not ashamed to prosecute for spite, not for crime; misquoting this statute, curtailing that statute, when they ought to be read in their entirety to a jury sworn to vote according to their direction? 18.122And, while behaving like that, you treat us to your definition of all the qualities proper to a patriotic politician—as though you had bespoken a statue according to specification, and it had been delivered without the qualities specified ! As though talk, not deeds and policy, were the criterion of patriotism ! And then you raise your voice, like a clown at a carnival, note and pelt me with epithets both decent and obscene, suitable for yourself and your kindred, but not for me.

18.123Here is another point, men of Athens. The difference between railing and accusation I take to be this: accusation implies crimes punishable by law; railing, such abuse as quarrelsome people vent upon one another according to their disposition. These law courts, if I am not mistaken, were built by our ancestors, not that we should convene you here to listen to us taunting one another with the secret scandal of private life, but that we should here bring home to the guilty offences against the public weal. 18.124Aeschines knows that as well as I do; but he has a keener taste for scurrility than for accusation. However, even in that respect he deserves to get as good as he gives. I will come to that presently; meantime I will ask him just one question. Are we to call you the enemy of Athens, Aeschines, or my enemy? Mine, of course. Yet you let slip your proper opportunities of bringing me to justice on behalf of the citizens, if I had done wrong, by audit, by indictment, by any sort of legal procedure; 18.125but here, where I am invulnerable on every ground, by law, by lapse of time, by limitation, by many earlier judgements covering every point, by default of any previous conviction for any public offence, here, where the country must take her share in the repute or disrepute of measures that were approved by the people, here you have met me face to face. You pose as my enemy; are you sure you are not the enemy of the people?

18.126A righteous and conscientious verdict is now sufficiently indicated; but I have still, as it seems—not because I have any taste for railing, but because of his calumnies—to state the bare necessary facts about Aeschines, in return for a great many lies. I must let you know who this man, who starts on vituperation so glibly—who ridicules certain words of mine though he has himself said things that every decent man would shrink from uttering—really is, and what is his parentage. 18.127Why, if my calumniator had been Aeacus, or Rhadamanthus, or Minos, instead of a mere scandalmonger, a market-place loafer, a poor devil of a clerk, he could hardly have used such language, or equipped himself with such offensive expressions. Hark to his melodramatic bombast: “Oh, Earth! Oh, Sun! Oh, Virtue,” and all that vaporing; his appeals to “intelligence and education, whereby we discriminate between things of good and evil report”—for that was the sort of rubbish you heard him spouting. 18.128Virtue! you runagate; what have you or your family to do with virtue? How do you distinguish between good and evil report? Where and how did you qualify as a moralist? Where did you get your right to talk about education? No really educated man would use such language about himself, but would rather blush to hear it from others; but people like you, who make stupid pretensions to the culture of which they are utterly destitute, succeed in disgusting everybody whenever they open their lips, but never in making the impression they desire.

18.129I am at no loss for information about you and your family; but I am at a loss where to begin. Shall I relate how your father Tromes was a slave in the house of Elpias, who kept an elementary school near the Temple of Theseus, and how he wore shackles on his legs and a timber collar round his neck? or how your mother practised daylight nuptials in an outhouse next door to Heros the bone-setter, note and so brought you up to act in tableaux vivants and to excel in minor parts on the stage? However, everybody knows that without being told by me. Shall I tell you how Phormio the boatswain, a slave of Dio of Phrearrii, uplifted her from that chaste profession? But I protest that, however well the story becomes you, I am afraid I may be thought to have chosen topics unbecoming to myself. 18.130I will pass by those early days, and begin with his conduct of his own life; for indeed it has been no ordinary life, but such as is an abomination to a free people. Only recently— recently, do I say? Why it was only the day before yesterday when he became simultaneously an Athenian and an orator, and, by the addition of two syllables, transformed his father from Tromes to Atrometus, and bestowed upon his mother the high sounding name of Glaucothea, although she was universally known as the Banshee, a nickname she owed to the pleasing diversity of her acts and experiences—it can have no other origin. 18.131You were raised from servitude to freedom, and from beggary to opulence, by the favor of your fellow-citizens, and yet you are so thankless and ill-conditioned that, instead of showing them your gratitude, you take the pay of their enemies and conduct political intrigues to their detriment. I will not deal with speeches which, on a disputable construction, may be called patriotic, but I will recall to memory acts by which he was proved beyond doubt to have served your enemies.

18.132You all remember Antiphon, the man who was struck off the register, and came back to Athens after promising Philip that he would set fire to the dockyard. When I had caught him in hiding at Peiraeus, and brought him before the Assembly, this malignant fellow raised a huge outcry about my scandalous and undemocratic conduct in assaulting citizens in distress and breaking into houses without a warrant, and so procured his acquittal. 18.133Had not the Council of the Areopagus, becoming aware of the facts, and seeing that you had made a most inopportune blunder, started further inquiries, arrested the man, and brought him into court a second time, the vile traitor would have slipped out of your hands and eluded justice, being smuggled out of the city by our bombastic phrase-monger. As it was, you put him on the rack and then executed him, and you ought to have done the same to Aeschines. 18.134In fact, the Council of the Areopagus knew well that Aeschines had been to blame throughout this affair, and therefore when, after choosing him by vote to speak in support of your claims to the Temple at Delos, by a misapprehension such as has often been fatal to your public interests, you invited the cooperation of that Council and gave them full authority, they promptly rejected him as a traitor, and gave the brief to Hypereides. On this occasion the ballot was taken at the altar, and not a single vote was cast for this wretch. 18.135To prove the truth of my statement, please call the witnesses.Witnesses

[We, Callias of Sunium, Zeno of Phlya, Cleon of Phalerum, Demonicus of Marathon, on behalf of all the councillors, bear witness for Demosthenes that, when the people elected Aeschines state-advocate before the Amphictyons in the matter of the temple at Delos, we in Council judged Hypereides more worthy to speak on behalf of the state, and Hypereides was accordingly commissioned.]

18.136Thus by rejecting this man from his spokesmanship, and giving the appointment to another, the Council branded him as a traitor and an enemy to the people.

So much for one of his spirited performances. Is it not just like the charges he brings against me? Now let me remind you of another. Philip had sent to us Pytho of Byzantium in company with an embassy representing all his allies, hoping to bring dishonor upon Athens and convict her of injustice. Pytho was mightily confident, denouncing you with a full spate of eloquence, but I did not shrink from the encounter. I stood up and contradicted him, refusing to surrender the just claims of the commonwealth, and proving that Philip was in the wrong so conclusively that his own allies rose and admitted I was right; but Aeschines took Philip's side throughout, and bore witness, even false witness, against his own country.

18.137Nor did that satisfy him. At a later date he was caught again in the company of the spy Anaxinus at the house of Thraso. Yet a man who secretly met and conversed with a spy sent by the enemy must have been himself a spy by disposition and an enemy of his country. To prove the truth of my statement, please call the witnesses.Witnesses

[Teledemus, son of Cleon, Hypereides, son of Callaeschrus, Nicomachus, son of Diophantus, bear witness for Demosthenes, and have taken oath before the Generals that to their knowledge Aeschines, son of Atrometus, of Cothocidae, comes by night to the house of Thraso and holds communication with Anaxinus, who has been proved to be a spy from Philip. These depositions were lodged with Nicias on the third day of Hecatombaeon.]

18.138I omit thousands of stories that I could tell you about him. The fact is, I could cite many clear instances of his conduct at that time, helping the enemy and maligning me; only it is not your way to score up such offences for accurate remembrance and due resentment. You have a vicious habit of allowing too much indulgence to anyone who chooses by spiteful calumnies to trip up the heels of a man who gives you good advice. You give away a sound policy in exchange for the entertainment you derive from invective; and so it is easier and safer for a public man to serve your enemies and pocket their pay than to choose and maintain a patriotic attitude.

18.139Though it was a scandalous shame enough, God knows, openly to take Philip's side against his own country even before the war, make him a present, if you choose, make him a present of that. But when our merchantmen had been openly plundered, when the Chersonese was being ravaged, when the man was advancing upon Attica, when there could no longer be any doubt about the position, but war had already begun—even after that this malignant mumbler of blank verse can point to no patriotic act. No profitable proposition, great or small, stands to the credit of Aeschines. If he claims any, let him cite it now, while my hour-glass note runs. But there is none. Now one of two things: either he made no alternative proposal because he could find no fault with my policy, or he did not disclose his amendments because his object was the advantage of the enemy.

18.140Did he then refrain from speech as well as from moving resolutions, when there was any mischief to be done? Why, no one else could get in a word! Apparently the city could stand, and he could do without detection, almost anything; but there was one performance of his that really gave the finishing touch to his earlier efforts. On that he has lavished all his wealth of words, citing in full the decrees against the Amphissians of Locri, in the hope of distorting the truth. But he can never disguise it. No, Aeschines, you will never wash out that stain; you cannot talk long enough for that!

18.141In your presence, men of Athens, I now invoke all the gods and goddesses whose domain is the land of Attica. I invoke also Pythian Apollo, the ancestral divinity of this city, and I solemnly beseech them all that, if I shall speak the truth now, and if I spoke truth to my countrymen when first I saw this miscreant putting his hand to that transaction—for I knew it, I knew it instantly—they may grant to me prosperity and salvation. But if with malice or in the spirit of personal rivalry I lay against him any false charge, I pray that they may dispossess me of everything that is good.

18.142This imprecation I address to Heaven, and this solemn averment I now make, because, though I have letters, deposited in the Record Office, enabling me to offer absolute proof, and though I am sure that you have not forgotten the transaction, I am afraid that his ability may be deemed inadequate for such enormous mischief. That mistake was made before, when by his false reports he contrived the destruction of the unhappy Phocians. 18.143The war at Amphissa, that is, the war that brought Philip to Elatea, and caused the election, as general of the Amphictyons, of a man who turned all Greece upside down, was due to the machinations of this man. In his own single person he was the author of all our worst evils. I protested instantly; I raised my voice in Assembly; I cried aloud, “You are bringing war into Attica, Aeschines, an Amphictyonic war;” but a compact body of men, sitting there under his direction, would not let me speak, and the rest were merely astonished and imagined that I was laying an idle charge in private spite. 18.144Men of Athens, you were not allowed to hear me then; but now you must and shall hear what was the real nature of that business, what was the purpose of the conspiracy, and how it was accomplished. You will see how skilfully it was contrived; you will get the benefit of new insight into your own politics and you will form an idea of the supreme craftiness of Philip.

18.145For Philip there could be no end or quittance of hostilities with Athens unless he should make the Thebans and Thessalians her enemies. Now, aIthough your commanders were conducting the war against him without ability and without success, he was vastly distressed both by the campaign and by the privateers; for he could neither export the products of his own country, nor import what he needed for himself. 18.146At that time he had no supremacy at sea, nor could he reach Attica by land unless the Thessalians followed his banner and the Thebans gave him free passage. In spite of his successes against the commanders you sent out, such as they were—I have nothing to say of their failure—he found himself in trouble by reason of conditions of locality and of the comparative resources of the two combatants. 18.147Now, if he should invite the Thebans or the Thessalians to take up his private quarrel and march against you, he could expect no attention; but if he should espouse their joint grievances and be chosen as their leader, he might hope to succeed by a mixture of deception and persuasion. Very well; he sets to work—and observe how cleverly he managed it—to throw the Pylaean Congress into confusion and to implicate the Amphictyonic Council in warfare, feeling certain that they would immediately beg him to deal with the situation. 18.148If, however, the question should be introduced by any of the commissioners of religion sent by him or by any allies of his, the Thebans and Thessalians, as he expected, would be suspicious and all on their guard; but, if the operator should be an Athenian, representing his opponents, he conceived that he would easily escape detection. And such was the actual result.

18.149How did he manage it? By hiring Aeschines. Nobody, of course, had any inkling; nobody was watching— according to your usual custom! Aeschines was nominated for the deputation to Thermopylae; three or four hands were held up, and he was declared elected. He repaired to the Council, invested with all the prestige of Athens, and at once, putting aside and disregarding everything else, addressed himself to the business for which he had taken pay. He concocted a plausible speech about the legendary origin of the consecration of the Cirrhaean territory, and by this narration induced the commissioners, men unversed in oratory and unsuspicious of consequences, 18.150to vote for a tour of survey of the land which the Amphissians said they were cultivating because it belonged to them, while Aeschines accused them of intruding on consecrated ground. It is not true that these Locrians w ere meditating any suit against Athens, or any other action such as he now falsely alleges in excuse. You will find a proof of his falsehood in this argument:—Of course it was not competent for the Locrians to take proceedings against Athens without serving a summons. Well, who served it? From what office was it issued? Name anyone who knows; point him out. You cannot; it was a false and idle pretext of yours.

18.151With Aeschines as their trusty guide, the Amphictyons began their tour of the territory; but the Locrians fell upon them, were within an ace of spearing the whole crowd, and did actually seize and carry off the sacred persons of several commissioners. Complaints were promptly laid, and so war against the Amphissians was provoked. At the outset Cottyphus was commander of an army composed of Amphictyons; but some divisions never joined, and those who joined did nothing at all. The persons engaged in the plot, mostly scoundrels of old standing from Thessaly and other states, prepared to put the war into Philip's hands at the next congress. 18.152They found a plausible pretext: you must either, they said, pay contributions to a war-chest, maintain mercenary forces, and levy a fine on all recusants, or else elect Philip as commander-in-chief: and so, to cut a long story short, elected he was on this plea. He lost no time, collected his army, pretended to march to Cirrha, and then bade the Cirrhaeans and the Locrians alike good-bye and good luck, and seized Elatea. 18.153When the Thebans saw the trick, they promptly changed their minds and joined our side; otherwise the whole business would have descended upon Athens like a torrent from the hills. In fact, the Thebans checked him for the moment; and for that relief, men of Athens, you have first and chiefly to thank the kindness of some friendly god, but in a secondary degree, and so far as one man could help, you have to thank me. Hand me those decrees, with the dates of the several transactions. They will show you what a mass of trouble this consummate villain provoked; and yet he was never punished. 18.154Please read the decrees.Resolution of the Amphictyons

[In the priesthood of Cleinagoras, at the spring session, it was resolved by the Wardens and the Assessors of the Amphictyons, and by the General Synod of the Amphictyons, that, whereas Amphissians are encroaching upon the sacred territory and are sowing and grazing the same, the Wardens and Assessors shall attend and mark out the boundaries with pillars, and shall forbid the Amphissians hereafter to encroach.] 18.155Another Resolution

[In the priesthood of Cleinagoras, at the spring session, it was resolved by the Wardens, Assessors, and General Synod that whereas the Amphissians who have occupied the sacred territory are tilling and grazing the same, and, when forbidden to do so, have appeared in arms and resisted the common assembly of the Greeks by force, and have actually wounded some of them, the general appointed by some of the Amphictyons, Cottyphus the Arcadian, shall go as an ambassador to Philip of Macedon and request him to come to the help of Apollo and the Amphictyons, that he may not suffer the god to be outraged by the impious Amphissians; he shall also announce that Philip is appointed General with full powers by the Greeks who are members of the Assembly of the Amphictyons.]

Now read the dates of these transactions. They are all dates at which he was or spokesman at the Congress of Thermopylae.Record of Dates

[Archonship of Mnesitheides, on the sixteenth of the month Anthesterion.]

18.156Now hand me the letter which Philip dispatched to his Peloponnesian allies, when the Thebans disobeyed him. Even that letter will give you a clear proof that he was concealing the true reasons of his enterprise, namely his designs against Greece, and especially against Thebes and Athens, and was only pretending zeal for the national interests as defined by the Amphictyonic Council. But the man who provided him with that basis of action and those pretexts was Aeschines. Read. 18.157Letter

[Philip, king of Macedonia, to the public officers and councillors of the allied Peloponnesians and to all his other Allies, greeting. Since the Ozolian Locrians, settled at Amphissa, are outraging the temple of Apollo at Delphi and come in arms to plunder the sacred territory, I consent to join you in helping the god and in punishing those who transgress in any way the principles of religion. Therefore meet under arms at Phocis with forty days' provisions in the next month, styled Lous by us, Boedromion by the Athenians, and Panemus by the Corinthians. Those who, being pledged to us, do not join us in full force, we shall treat as punishable. Farewell.]

18.158You see how he avoids personal excuses, and takes shelter in Amphictyonic reasons. Who gave him his equipment of deceit? Who supplied him with these pretexts ? Who above all others is to blame for all the ensuing mischief? Who but Aeschines? Then do not go about saying, men of Athens, that these disasters were brought upon Greece by Philip alone. I solemnly aver that it was not one man, but a gang of traitors in every state. 18.159One of them was Aeschines; and, if I am to tell the whole truth without concealment, I will not flinch from declaring him the evil genius of all the men, all the districts, and all the cities that have perished. Let the man who sowed the seed bear the guilt of the harvest. I marvel that you did not avert your faces the moment you set eyes on him; only, as it seems, there is a cloud of darkness between you and the truth.

18.160In dealing with his unpatriotic conduct I have approached the question of the very different policy pursued by myself. For many reasons you may fairly be asked to listen to my account of that policy, but chiefly because it would be discreditable, men of Athens, that you should be impatient of the mer e recital of those arduous labors on your behalf which I had patience to endure. 18.161When I saw that the Thebans, and perhaps even the Athenians, under the influence of the adherents of Philip and the corrupt faction in the two states, were disregarding a real danger that called for earnest vigilance, the danger of permitting Philip's aggrandizement, and were taking no single measure of precaution, but were ready to quarrel and attack each other, I persistently watched for opportunities of averting that danger, not merely because my own judgement warned me that such solicitude was necessary, 18.162but because I knew that Aristophon, and after him Eubulus, had always wished to promote a good understanding between Athens and Thebes. In that regard they were always of one mind, despite their constant disagreement on other points of policy. While those statesmen were alive, Aeschines, you pestered them with your flattery, like the sly fox you are; now they are dead, you denounce them, unaware that, when you reproach me with a Theban policy, your censure does not affect me so much as the men who approved of a Theban alliance before I did. But that is a digression. 18.163I say that, when Aeschines had provoked the war in Amphissa, and when his associates had helped him to aggravate our enmity towards Thebes, the result was that Philip marched against us, in pursuance of the purpose for which they had embroiled the states, and that, if we had not roused ourselves a little just in time, we could never have retrieved our position; so far had these men carried the quarrel. You will better understand the state of feeling between the two cities, when you have heard the decrees and the answers sent thereto. Please take and read these papers. 18.164Decree

[In the archonship of Heropythus, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elaphebolion, the tribe Erechtheis then holding the presidency, on the advice of the Council and the Generals: whereas Philip has captured so me of the cities of our neighbors and is besieging others, and finally is preparing to advance against Attica, ignoring our agreement with him, and is meditating a breach of his oaths and of the peace, violating all mutual pledges, be it resolved by the Council and People to send ambassadors to confer with him and to summon him to preserve in particular his agreement and compact with us, and, failing that, to give the City time for decision and to conclude an armistice until the month of Thargelion. The following members of Council were chosen: Simus of Anagyrus, Euthydemos of Phylae, Bulagoras of Alopece.] 18.165Another Decree

[In the archonship of Heropythus, on the thirtieth of the month Munychion, on the advice of the Commander-in-chief: whereas Philip aims at setting the Thebans at variance with us, and has prepared to march with all his forces to the parts nearest to Attica, violating his existing arrangements with us, be it resolved by the Council and People to send a herald and ambassadors to request and exhort him to conclude an armistice, in order that the People may decide according to circumstances; for even now the People have not decided to send a force if they can obtain reasonable terms. The following were chosen from the Council: Nearchus, son of Sosinomus, Polycrates, son of Epiphron; and as herald from the People, Eunomus of Anaphlystus.]

18.166Now read the replies. Reply to the Athenians

[Philip, King of Macedonia, to the Council and People of Athens, greeting.—I am not ignorant of the policy which you have adopted towards us from the first, nor of your efforts to win over the Thessalians and Thebans, and the Boeotians as well. They, however, are wiser, and will not submit their policy to your dictation, but take their stand upon self-interest. And now you change your tactics, and send ambassadors with a herald to me, reminding me of our compact and asking for an armistice, though we have done you no wrong. However, after hearing your ambassadors, I accede to your request, and am ready to conclude an armistice, if you will dismiss your evil counsellors, and punish them with suitable degradation. Farewell.] 18.167Reply to the Thebans

[Philip, King of Macedonia, to the Council and People of Thebes, greeting.—I have received your letter, in which you renew goodwill and peace with me. I understand, however, that the Athenians are displaying the utmost eagerness in their desire to win your acceptance of their overtures. Now formerly I used to blame you for a tendency to put faith in their hopes and to adopt their policy; but now I am glad to learn that you have preferred to be at peace with me rather than to adopt the opinions of others. Especially do I commend you for forming a safer judgement on these matters and for retaining your goodwill toward us, which I expect will be of no small advantage to you, if you adhere to this purpose. Farewell.]

18.168Having, through the agency of these men, promoted such relations between the two cities, and being encouraged by these decrees and these replies, Philip came with his forces and occupied Elatea, imagining that, whatever might happen, you and the Thebans would never come to agreement. You all remember the commotion that ensued at Athens; nevertheless let me recount some small but essential details.

18.169Evening had already fallen when a messenger arrived bringing to the presiding councillors note the news that Elatea had been taken. They were sitting at supper, but they instantly rose from table, cleared the booths in the marketplace of their occupants, and unfolded the hurdles, note while others summoned the commanders and ordered the attendance of the trumpeter. The commotion spread through the whole city. At daybreak on the morrow the presidents summoned the Council to the Council House, and the citizens flocked to the place of assembly. Before the Council could introduce the business and prepare the agenda, the whole body of citizens had taken their places on the hill. 18.170The Council arrived, the presiding Councillors formally reported the intelligence they had received, and the courier was introduced. As soon as he had told his tale, the marshal put the question, Who wishes to speak? No one came forward. The marshal repeated his question again and again, but still no one rose to speak, although all the commanders were there, and all the orators, and although the country with her civic voice was calling for the man who should speak for her salvation; for we may justly regard the voice, which the crier raises as the laws direct, as the civic voice of our country. 18.171Now had it been the duty of every man who desired the salvation of Athens to come forward, all of you, aye, every Athenian citizen, would have risen in your places and made your way to the tribune, for that salvation, I am well assured, was the desire of every heart. If that duty had fallen upon the wealthy, the Three Hundred would have risen; if upon those who were alike wealthy and patriotic, the men who thereafter gave those generous donations which signalized at once their wealth and their patriotism. 18.172But, it seems, the call of the crisis on that momentous day was not only for the wealthy patriot but for the man who from first to last had closely watched the sequence of events, and had rightly fathomed the purposes and the desires of Philip; for anyone who had not grasped those purposes, or had not studied them long beforehand, however patriotic and however wealthy he might be, was not the man to appreciate the needs of the hour, or to find any counsel to offer to the people. 18.173On that day, then, the call was manifestly for me. I came forward and addressed you; and I will now ask your careful attention to the speech I then made, for two reasons: first, that you may understand that I, alone among your orators and politicians, did not desert the post of patriotism in the hour of peril, but approved myself as one who in the midst of panic could, both in speech and in suggestion, do what duty bade on your behalf; and secondly, because at the cost of a few minutes of study you may gain experience which will stand you in good stead for your policy in times to come.

18.174What I said was this. “In my judgement the present position of affairs is misunderstood by those who are so much alarmed by the apprehension that all Thebes is at the disposal of Philip. If that were true, I am quite certain that we should have heard of him not at Elatea but on our own frontiers. But I know with certainty that he has come to complete his preparations at Thebes. Let me tell you how he is situated. 18.175He has at his command all those Thebans whom he was able to win by fraud or corruption; but he cannot by any means prevail upon those who have resisted him from the first and who are still his opponents. His present object, and the purpose for which he has occupied Elatea, is that, by an exhibit ion of his power in the neighborhood of Thebes, and by bringing up armed forces, he may encourage and embolden his friends, and overawe his adversaries, hoping that the latter will yield to intimidation or to compulsion and will so concede what at present they refuse. 18.176If,” I added, “at this crisis we are determined to remember all the provocative dealings of the Thebans with us in past time, and to distrust them still on the score of enmity, in the first place, we shall be acting exactly as Philip would beg us to act; and secondly, I am afraid that, if his present opponents give him a favorable reception, and unanimously become Philip's men, both parties will join in an invasion of Attica. If, however, you will listen to my advice, and apply your minds to consideration, but not to captious criticism, of what I lay before you, I believe that you will find my proposals acceptable, and that I shall disperse the perils that overhang our city. 18.177Let me then tell you what to do. In the first place, get rid of your present terror; or rather direct it elsewhere, and be as frightened as you will for the Thebans. They lie nearer to peril; the danger threatens them first. Next, let all men of military age, and all the cavalry, march out to Eleusis, and show the world that you are under arms. Then your partisans at Thebes will have equal freedom to speak their minds for righteousness' sake, knowing that, just as the men who have sold their country to Philip are supported by a force at Elatea ready to come to their aid, so also you are in readiness to help men who are willing to fight for independence, and will come to their aid, if they are attacked. 18.178In the next place, I would have you appoint ten ambassadors, and give them authority, in consultation with the military commanders, to determine the time of the march to Thebes and the conduct of the campaign. Now for my advice on the treatment of the difficulty after the arrival of the ambassadors at Thebes. I beg your careful attention to this. Do not ask any favor of the Thebans: for that the occasion is not creditable. Pledge yourselves to come to their aid at their call, on the ground that they are in extremities, and that we have a clearer foresight of the future than they. And so, if they accept our overtures and take our advice, we shall have accomplished our desires and have acted on a principle worthy of our traditions; while, if success does not fall to our lot, they will have themselves to blame for their immediate blunder, and we shall have done nothing mean or discreditable.”

18.179In those words, or to that effect, I spoke, and left the tribune. My speech was universally applauded, and there was no opposition. I did not speak without moving, nor move without serving as ambassador, nor serve without convincing the Thebans. I went through the whole business from beginning to end, devoting myself ungrudgingly to your service in face of the perils that encompassed our city. Please produce the decree made at that time.

18.180What part do you wish me to assign to you, Aeschines, and what to myself, in the drama of that great day? Am I to be cast for the part of Battalus, note as you dub me when you scold me so scornfully, and you for no vulgar role but to play some hero of legendary tragedy, Cresphontes, or Creon, or, shall we say, Oenomaus, whom you once murdered by your bad acting at Collytus? Anyhow, on that occasion Battalus of Paeania deserved better of his country than Oenomaus of Cothocidae. You were utterly useless; I did everything that became a good citizen. Please read the decree. 18.181Decree of Demosthenes

[In the archonship of Nausicles, the tribe Aeantis then holding the presidency, on the sixteenth day of Scirophorion, Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, proposed that, whereas Philip of Macedon is proved in the past to have violated the terms of peace agreed to between him and the People of Athens, disregarding his oaths and the principles of equity as recognized among all the Greeks: and whereas he appropriates cities not belonging to him, and has captured in war some that actually belonged to the Athenians without provocation from the Athenian people, and is today making great advances in violence and cruelty, 18.182for of some Greek cities he overthrows the constitution, putting a garrison in them, others he razes to the ground, selling the inhabitants into slavery, others he colonizes with barbarians instead of Greeks, handing over to them the temples and the sepulchres, acting as might be expected from his nationality and his character and making insolent use of his present fortune, forgetful of how he rose to greatness unexpectedly from a small and ordinary beginning; 18.183and whereas, so long as the People of Athens saw him seizing barbarian states, belonging to themselves alone, they conceived that their own wrongs were of less account, but now, seeing Greek states outraged or wiped out, they consider it a scandal and unworthy of the reputation of their ancestors to suffer the Greeks to he enslaved; 18.184therefore be it resolved by the Council and People of Athens, after offering prayers and sacrifices to the gods and heroes who guard the city and country of the Athenians, and after taking into consideration their ancestors' merits, in that they ranked the preservation of the liberties of Greece above the claims of their own state, that two hundred ships be launched, and that the Admiral sail into the Straits of Thermopylae, and that the General and commander of the cavalry march out with the infantry and cavalry to Eleusis; also that ambassadors be sent to the other Greeks, but first of all to the Thebans, because Philip is nearest to their territory, 18.185and exhort them not to be dismayed at Philip, but to hold fast to their own liberty and the liberty of the other Greeks, assuring them t hat the people of Athens, harboring no ill will for previous mutual differences between the states, will help them with troops, money, ammunition, and arms, knowing that, while it is an honor able ambition for Greeks to dispute with each other for the hegemony, yet to be ruled by a man of alien race and to be robbed by him of that hegemony is unworthy both of the reputation of the Greeks and of the merits of their ancestors. 18.186Furthermore, the People of Athens regard the people of Thebes as in no way alien either in race or in nationality. They remember the services rendered by their own ancestors to the ancestors of the Thebans, for, when the sons of Heracles were dispossessed by the Peloponnesians of their paternal dominion, they restored them, overcoming in battle those who were trying to oppose the descendants of Heracles; and we harbored Oedipus and his family when they were banished; and many other notable acts of kindness have we done to the Thebans. 18.187Therefore now also the people of Athens will not desert the cause of Thebes and the other Greeks. An alliance shall be arranged with them, and rights of intermarriage established, and oaths exchanged. —Ambassadors appointed: Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, Hypereides, son of Cleander, of Sphettus, Mnesitheides, son of Antiphanes, of Phrearrii, Democrates, son of Sophilus, of Phlya, Callaeschrus, son of Diotimus, of Cothocidae.]

18.188Such was the first beginning and such the basis of our negotiations with Thebes; the first, I say, for hitherto the two cities had been dragged by these men into mutual enmity, hatred, and distrust. The decree was made, and the danger that environed the city passed away like a summer cloud. Then was the time therefore for an honest man to point, if he could, to a better way; now cavilling comes too late. 18.189That is the salient difference between the statesman and the charlatan, who are indeed in all respects unlike one another. The statesman declares his judgement before the event, and accepts responsibility to his followers, to fortune, to the chances of the hour, to every critic of his policy. The charlatan holds his peace when he ought to speak, and then croaks over any untoward result. 18.190That then, as I said, was the opportunity for any man who cared for Athens or for honest discussion. But I will make a large concession. If even now any man can point to a better way, nay, if any policy whatever, save mine, was even praticable, I plead guilty. If anyone has now discerned any course which might have been taken profitably then, I admit that I ought not to have missed it. But if there is none, if there never was any, if to this very day no one is able to name any, what was a statesman to do? Surely to choose the best policy among those that were visible and feasible. 18.191That is what I did, Aeschines, when the marshal put the question, “Who wishes to speak?” He did not ask, “Who wishes to rake up old grievances?” or, “Who wishes to be answerable for the future?” In those days you sat speechless at every assembly; I came forward and spoke. You had nothing to say then; very well,—show us our duty now. Tell me what plan I ought to have discovered. Tell me what favorable opportunity was lost to the state by my default. Tell me of any alliance, or any negotiation, to which I ought by preference to have introduced the people.

18.192Bygones are bygones, all the world over. No one proposes deliberation about the past; it is the present and the future that call the statesman to his post. And at that time, as we all thought, there were future perils and there were present perils. Look at the policy I chose in the light of those perils; do not carp at results. The issue depends on the will of a higher Power; the mind of the statesman is manifested in his policy. 18.193You must not accuse me of crime, because Philip happened to win the battle; for the event was in God's hands, not mine. Show me that I did not adopt, as far as human calculation could go, all the measures that were practicable, or that I did not carry them out with honesty and diligence, and with an industry that overtaxed my strength; or else show me that the enterprises I initiated were not honor able, worthy of Athens, and inevitable. Prove that, and then denounce me; but not till then. 18.194If the hurricane that burst upon us has been too strong, not for us alone, but for every Hellenic state,—what then? As if a shipowner, who had done everything in his power for a prosperous voyage, who had equipped his craft with every appliance he could think of to ensure her safety, should encounter a great storm, and then, because his tackle was overstrained or even shattered, should be accused of the crime of shipwreck! “But,” he might say, “I was not at the helm”—nor was I in command of the army—“and I could not control fortune, but fortune controls all.”

18.195Here is another point for your consideration. If we were destined to disaster when we fought with the Thebans at our side, what were we to expect if we had lacked even that alliance, and if they had joined Philip, a union for which he exerted all his powers of appeal? And if, after a battle fought three days' march from the frontier, such danger and such alarm beset the city, what must we have expected after suffering the same defeat within our own borders? Do you not see that, as it was, one, or two, or three days gave the city time for resistance, concentration, recovery, for much that made for deliverance; as it might have been—but I will not mention an experience that we were spared by divine favor, and by the protection of that very alliance which you denounce.

18.196Gentlemen of the jury, all this long story is intended for you, and for that circle of hearers outside the barrier. For this contemptible fellow, I have a short, plain, and sufficient answer. Aeschines, if the future was revealed to you and to nobody else, you should have given us the benefit of your predictions when we were deliberating; if you had no foreknowledge, you are open to the charge of ignorance just like the rest of us. Then what better right have you to denounce me than I to denounce you? 18.197In respect of the business of which I am speaking— and at present I discuss nothing else—I am a better citizen than you, in so far as I devoted myself to a course of action that was unanimously approved, neither shirking nor even counting any personal danger. You made no more acceptable suggestion, otherwise mine would not have been adopted; and in carrying out mine you were not of the slightest use. You are proved after the event to have behaved throughout like a worthless and most unpatriotic citizen; and now, by a strange coincidence, those thorough-going enemies of Athens, Aristratus at Naxos and Aristolaus at Thasos, are bringing the friends of Athens to trial, while at Athens itself Aeschines is accusing Demosthenes. 18.198And yet he who built his reputation on the accumulated misfortunes of Greece deserves rather to perish himself than to prosecute his neighbor; and the man who has found his profit in the same emergencies as his country's foes can make no claim to patriotism. You stand revealed in your life and conduct, in your public performances and also in your public abstinences. A project approved by the people is going forward. Aeschines is speechless. A regrettable incident is reported. Aeschines is in evidence. He reminds one of an old sprain or fracture: the moment you are out of health it begins to be active.

18.199As he lays so much stress on results, let me venture on a paradox. If it seems extravagant, I beg that you will not be surprised, but that you will still give friendly consideration to what I am saying. Suppose that the future had been revealed to all of us, that every one had known what would happen, and that you, Aeschines, had predicted and protested, and shouted and stormed—though in fact you never opened your mouth—even then the city could not have departed from that policy, if she had any regard for honor, or for our ancestors, or for the days that are to come. 18.200All that can be said now is, that we have failed and that is the common lot of humanity, if God so wills. But then, if Athens, after claiming the primacy of the nations, had run away from her claims, she would have been held guilty of betraying Greece to Philip. If, without striking a blow, she had abandoned the cause for which our forefathers flinched from no peril, is there a man who would not have spat in your face? In your face, Aeschines: not at Athens, not at me! 18.201How could we have returned the gaze of visitors to our city, if the result had been what it is—Philip the chosen lord paramount of all Greece—and if other nations had fought gallantly to avert that calamity without our aid, although never before in the whole course of history had our city preferred inglorious security to the perils of a noble cause? 18.202There is no man living, whether Greek or barbarian, who does not know that the Thebans, or the Lacedaemonians, who held supremacy before them, note or the king of Persia himself, would cheerfully and gratefully have given Athens liberty to keep what she had and to take what she chose, if only she would do their behest and surrender the primacy of Greece. 18.203But to the Athenians of old, I suppose, such temporizing was forbidden by their heredity, by their pride, by their very nature. Since the world began, no man has ever prevailed upon Athens to attach herself in the security of servitude to the oppressors of mankind however formidable: in every generation she has striven without a pause in the perilous contention for primacy, and honor, and renown. 18.204Such constancy you deem so exemplary, and so congenial to your character, that you still sing the praises of those of your forefathers by whom it was most signally displayed. And you are right. Who would not exult in the valor of those famous men who, rather than yield to a conqueror's behests, left city and country and made the war-galleys their home; who chose Themistocles, the man who gave them that counsel, as their commander, and stoned Cyrsilus note to death for advising obedient submission? Aye, and his wife also was stoned by your wives. 18.205The Athenians of that day did not search for a statesman or a commander who should help them to a servile security: they did not ask to live, unless they could live as free men. Every man of them thought of himself as one born, not to his father and his mother alone, but to his country. What is the difference? The man who deems himself born only to his parents will wait for his natural and destined end; the son of his country is willing to die rather than see her enslaved, and will look upon those outrages and indignities, which a commonwealth in subjection is compelled to endure, as more dreadful than death itself.

18.206If I had attempted to claim that you were first inspired with the spirit of your forefathers by me, every one would justly rebuke me. But I do not: I am asserting these principles as your principles; I am showing you that such was the pride of Athens long before my time,—though for myself I do claim some credit for the administration of particular measures. 18.207Aeschines, on the other hand, arraigns the whole policy, stirs up your resentment against me as the author of your terrors and your dangers, and, in his eagerness to strip me of the distinction of a moment, would rob you of the enduring praises of posterity. For if you condemn Ctesiphon on the ground of my political delinquency, you yourselves will be adjudged as wrongdoers, not as men who owed the calamities they have suffered to the unkindness of fortune. 18.208But no; you cannot, men of Athens, you cannot have done wrongly when you accepted the risks of war for the redemption and the liberties of mankind; I swear it by our forefathers who bore the brunt of warfare at Marathon, who stood in array of battle at Plataea, who fought in the sea-fights of Salamis and Artemisium, and by all the brave men who repose in our public sepulchres, buried there by a country that accounted them all to be alike worthy of the same honor —all, I say, Aeschines, not the successful and the victorious alone. So justice bids: for by all the duty of brave men was accomplished: their fortune was such as Heaven severally allotted to them.

18.209And then a disreputable quill-driver like you, wanting to rob me of a distinction given me by the kindness of my fellow citizens, talked about victories and battles and ancient deeds of valor, all irrelevant to the present trial. But I, who came forward to advise my country how to retain her supremacy—tell me, you third-rate tragedian, in what spirit did it beseem me to ascend the tribune? As one who should give to the citizens counsel unworthy of their traditions? 18.210I should have deserved death! Men of Athens, you jurymen are not to judge public and private causes in the same temper. You look at contracts of everyday business in the light of relevant statutes and facts, but at questions of public policy with due regard to the proud traditions of our forefathers. If you feel bound to act in the spirit of that dignity, whenever you come into court to give judgement on public causes, you must bethink yourselves that with his staff and his badge every one of you receives in trust the ancient pride of Athens.

18.211However, in touching upon the achievements of our ancestors, I have passed by some of my decrees and other measures. I will now therefore return to the point at which I digressed.

When we reached Thebes we found ambassadors from Philip and from the Thebans and others of his allies already there, our friends panic-stricken, and his friends full of confidence. To prove that this is not a statement made today to serve my own turn, please read the dispatch which the ambassadors sent at the time. 18.212The prosecutor is so extraordinarily malicious that he gives the credit of any duty successfully performed not to me but to opportunity, but holds me and my bad luck responsible for everything that miscarried. I am a speaker and a statesman, yet it would seem that, in his view, I am to have no credit for the results of the discussion and deliberation, but am solely responsible for all the misadventures of our arms and of our generalship. Can you imagine a cruder or more abominable calumny? Read the dispatch.Letter

18.213When the Thebans held their assembly, they introduced Philip's ambassadors first, on the ground that they were in the position of allies. They came forward and made their speech, full of eulogy of Philip, and of incrimination of Athens, and recalled everything you had ever done in antagonism to Thebes. The gist of the speech was that they were to show gratitude to Philip for every good turn he had done to them, and to punish you for the injuries they had suffered, in whichever of two ways they chose— either by giving him a free passage, or by joining in the invasion of Attica. They proved, as they thought, that, if their advice were taken, cattle, slaves, and other loot from Attica would come into Boeotia, whereas the result of the proposals they expected from us would be that Boeotia would be ravaged by the war. They added many other arguments, all tending to the same conclusion. 18.214I would give my life to recapitulate the reply that we made: but I am afraid that, as that crisis is long past, and as you may think that all those transactions are now obliterated as by a flood, you would regard any discussion of them as useless and vexatious. I will only ask you to hear how far we prevailed upon them, and what answer they returned. Take and read this document.Reply of the Thebans

18.215After that, the Thebans invited you to join them. You marched out: you reinforced them. I pass over the incidents of the march: but their reception of you was so friendly that, while their own infantry and cavalry lay outside the walls, they gave you access to their homes, to their citadel, to their wives and children and most precious possessions. On that day the Thebans publicly paid three fine compliments—to your valor, to your righteousness, and to your sobriety. When they decided to fight on your side rather than against you, they adjudged you to be braver men than Philip, and your claim to be more righteous than his; and when they put into your power what they, like all other men, were most anxious to safeguard, namely their wives and their children, they exhibited their confidence in your sobriety. 18.216And thereby, men of Athens, they showed a just appreciation of your character. After the entry of your soldiers no man ever laid even a groundless complaint against them, so soberly did you conduct yourselves. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with them in the two earliest engagements,—the battle by the river, and the winter battle,—you approved yourselves irreproachable fighters, admirable alike in discipline, in equipment, and in determination. Your conduct elicited the praises of other nations, and was acknowledged by yourselves in services of thanksgiving to the gods. 18.217I should like to ask Aeschines a question: when all that was going on, when the whole city was a scene of enthusiasm and rejoicing and thanksgiving, did he take part in the worship and festivity of the populace, or did he sit still at home, grieving and groaning and sulking over public successes? If he was present as one of the throng, surely his behavior is scandalous and even sacrilegious, for after calling the gods to witness that certain measures were very good, he now asks a jury to vote that they were very bad—a jury that has sworn by the gods! If he was not present, he deserves many deaths for shrinking from a sight in which every one else rejoiced. Please read these decrees.Decrees appointing a Public Thanksgiving

18.218So we were engaged in thanksgiving, and the Thebans in the deliverance that they owed to us. The situation was reversed, and a nation that, thanks to the intrigues of Aeschines and his party, seemed on the verge of suing for aid, was now giving aid in pursuance of the advice which you accepted from me. But indeed, what sort of language Philip gave vent to at that time, and how seriously he was discomposed, you shall learn from letters sent by him to Peloponnesus. Please take and read them, that the jury may learn the real effect of my perseverance, of my journeys and hardships, and of that profusion of decrees at which Aeschines was just now scoffing.

18.219Men of Athens, there have been many great and distinguished orators in your city before my time,—the famous Callistratus, Aristophon, Cephalus, Thrasybulus, and thousands more; but no one of them ever devoted himself to any public business without intermission; the man who moved a resolution would not go on embassy, and the man who went on embassy would not move a resolution. Each of them used to leave himself some leisure, and at the same time some loop-hole, in case anything happened. 18.220“What!” some one may say, “were you so much stronger and bolder than others that you could do everything by yourself?” That is not what I mean: but I was so firmly persuaded that the danger which overhung the city was very serious, that it did not seem to me to leave me any room for taking my personal safety into account; but a man, I thought, must be content, without neglecting anything, to do his duty. 18.221As for myself, I was convinced, presumptuously, perhaps, but convinced I was, that there was no one more competent either to make sound proposals, or to carry them into effect, or to conduct an embassy diligently and honestly: and therefore I took my place in every field of action. Read Philip's letters.Letters

18.222To these straits had my policy, Aeschines, reduced Philip: and such was then the language uttered by a man who had hitherto lifted his voice vauntingly against Athens. And for that reason I was deservedly decorated by the citizens. You were present, but said nothing in opposition; and Diondas, who arraigned the grant, did not get the fifth part of the votes. Please read the decrees which were then by that acquittal validated, and which Aeschines never even arraigned.Decrees

18.223These decrees, men of Athens, exhibit the same wording and phrasing as those proposed formerly by Aristonicus, and now by Ctesiphon. Aeschines did not prosecute them himself, nor did he support the accusation of the man who did arraign them. And yet if there is any truth in his present denunciation, he might then have prosecuted Demomeles, the proposer, and Hypereides, with more reason than Ctesiphon, 18.224who can refer to these precedents, to the decision of the courts, to the observation that Aeschines himself did not prosecute persons who made the same proposals, to the statutory prohibition of repeated prosecution in such cases, and so forth; whereas at that time the issue would have been tried on its merits without such presumptions. 18.225On the other hand, at that time, I imagine, there was no chance of doing what he does now, when out of a lot of old dates and decrees he selects for slanderous purposes any that nobody knew beforehand or would expect to hear cited today, transposes dates, substitutes fictitious reasons for the true reasons of transactions, and so makes a show of speaking to the point. 18.226That trick was not possible then. All speeches must have been made on a basis of truth, within a short time of the facts, when the jury still remembered details and almost knew them by heart. That is why, after shirking inquiry at the time when the events were recent, he has returned to the issue today, expecting, I suppose, that you will conduct a forensic competition rather than an inquiry into political conduct, and that the decision will turn upon diction rather than sound policy.

18.227Then he resorts to sophistry, and tells you that you must ignore any opinion of himself and me which you brought with you from home; and that, as, when you cast up a man ' s accounts, though you anticipate a surplus, you acquiesce in the result if the totals balance, so you must now accept the result of the calculation. Every dishonest contrivance, you will observe, is rotten to the core. 18.228By his ingenious apologue he has admitted that we are both here as acknowledged advocates—I of our country, he of Philip; for if such had not been the view you take of us, he would not have been at pains to convert you. 18.229I shall prove without difficulty that he has no right to ask you to reverse that opinion—not by using counters, for political measures are not to be added up in that fashion, but by reminding you briefly of the several transactions, and appealing to you who hear me as both the witnesses and the auditors of my account. We owe it to that policy of mine which he denounces that, instead of the Thebans joining Philip in an invasion of our country, as everyone expected, they fought by our side and stopped him; 18.230that, instead of the seat of war being in Attica, it was seven hundred furlongs away on the far side of Boeotia; that, instead of privateers from Euboea harrying us, Attica was at peace on the sea-frontier throughout the war; and that, instead of Philip taking Byzantium and holding the Hellespont, the Byzantines fought on our side against him. 18.231Do you see any resemblance between this computation of results and your casting up of counters? Are we to cancel the gains to balance the losses, note instead of providing that they shall never be forgotten? I need not add that other nations have had experience of that cruelty which is always observable whenever Philip has got people under his heel, whereas you have been lucky enough to enjoy the fruits of that factitious humanity in which he clothed himself with an eye to the future. But I pass that by.

18.232I will not shrink from observing that any man who wished to bring an orator to the proof honestly, and not merely to slander him, would never have laid such charges as you have alleged, inventing analogies, and mimicking my diction and gestures. The fate of Greece, forsooth, depended on whether I used this word or that, or moved my hand this way or that way! 18.233No; he would have considered, in the light of actual facts, the means and resources possessed by the city when I entered on administration, and those accumulated by me when at the head of affairs; and also the condition of our adversaries. If I had impaired our resources, he would have proved that the fault lay at my door: if I had greatly increased them, he would have spared his slanders. As you avoided this test, I will apply it; and the jury will see whether I state the case fairly.

18.234For resources, the city possessed the islanders—but not all, only the weakest, for neither Chios, nor Rhodes, nor Corcyra was on our side; a subsidy of forty-five talents, all collected in advance; and not a single private or trooper apart from our own army. But what was most alarming to us, and advantageous to the enemy, Aeschines and his party had made all our neighbors, Megarians, Thebans, and Euboeans, more disposed to enmity than to friendship. 18.235Such were the means of the city: and I defy anyone to name anything else. Now consider those of our antagonist Philip. In the first place, he was the despotic commander of his adherents: and in war that is the most important of all advantages. Secondly, they had their weapons constantly in their hands. Then he was well provided with money: he did whatever he chose, without giving notice by publishing decrees, or deliberating in public, without fear of prosecution by informers or indictment for illegal measures. He was responsible to nobody: he was the absolute autocrat, commander, and master of everybody and everything. 18.236And I, his chosen adversary—it is a fair inquiry—of what was I master? Of nothing at all! Public speaking was my only privilege: and that you permitted to Philip's hired servants on the same terms as to me. Whenever they had the advantage of me—and for one reason or another that often happened—you laid your plans for the enemy's benefit, and went your ways. 18.237In spite of all these drawbacks, I made alliance for you with Euboeans, Achaeans, Corinthians, Thebans, Megarians, Leucadians, and Corcyraeans: and from those states there was assembled a foreign division of fifteen thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry, not counting their citizen-soldiery. I also obtained from them in money the largest subsidy I could. 18.238When you talk about fair terms with the Thebans, Aeschines, or with the Byzantines and the Euboeans, and raise at this time of day the question of equal contributions, in the first place, you must be unaware that of that famous fleet of three hundred galleys that fought for Greece note in former days, our city supplied two hundred; and that she did not show any sign of complaining that she was unfairly treated, or impeaching the statesmen whose advice she took, or airing her dissatisfaction. That would have been discreditable indeed! No, she gave thanks to the gods that, when all the Greeks alike were encompassed by a great peril, she had contributed twice as much as all the rest to the common deliverance. 18.239Secondly, when you grumble at me, you are doing an ill turn to your fellow-citizens. Why do you tell them today what they ought to have done then? You were in Athens and at the Assembly: why did you not offer your suggestions at the time—if indeed they could possibly be offered during an imminent crisis, when we had to accept, not all that we wanted, but all that the conditions allowed? There was a man lying in wait who was bidding against us, and was ready to welcome any allies we drove away, and pay them into the bargain.

18.240If I am accused today for what was actually done, suppose that, while I was haggling over nice calculations, these cities had marched off and joined Philip—suppose he had become suzerain o f Euboea, Thebes, and Byzantium— what do you think these unprincipled men would have done or said then? 18.241Would they not have told you that we had made Philip a present of our allies? That they had been driven away when they wanted to join us? That through the Byzantines he had gained the mastery of the Hellespont, and control of the corn-supply of all Greece? That by means of the Thebans Attica had become the scene of a distressing war with her own neighbors? That the sea had become useless for ships because of privateers with Euboea for their base? Would they not have made all those complaints, and plenty more? 18.242Oh, men of Athens, what a vile monster is the calumniator, gathering malice from everywhere, always backbiting! But this fellow is by very nature a spiteful animal, absolutely incapable of honesty or generosity; this monkey of melodrama, this bumpkin tragedy-king, this pinchbeck orator! What use has all your cleverness ever been to your country? 18.243What! talk about bygones today? It is as though a physician visiting his patients should never open his mouth, or tell them how to get rid of their complaint, so long as they are ill; but, as soon as one of them dies, and the obsequies are celebrated, should follow the corpse to the grave, and deliver his prescription at last from the tombstone: “If our departed friend had done this or that, he would never have died!” You lunatic! what is the use of talking now?

18.244You will find that even our defeat, if this reprobate must needs exult over what he ought to have deplored, did not fall upon the city through any fault of mine. Make your reckoning in this way: wherever I was sent as your representative, I came away undefeated by Philip's ambassador—from Thessaly, from Ambracia, from the Illyrians, from the kings of Thrace, from Byzantium, from every other place, and finally from Thebes; but wherever Philip was beaten in diplomacy, he attacked the place with an army and conquered it. 18.245And for those defeats, Aeschines, you call me to account! Are you not ashamed to jeer at a man for cowardice, and then to require that same man to overcome the whole power of Philip single-handed, and to do it by mere words? For what else had I at my disposal? Certainly not the personal courage of each man, not the good fortune of the troops engaged, not that generalship for which you are unreasonable enough to hold me responsible. Make as strict an inquiry as you will into everything for which an orator is responsible; I ask no indulgence. 18.246But for what is he responsible? For discerning the trend of events at the outset, for forecasting results, for warning others. That I have always done. Further, he ought to reduce to a minimum those delays and hesitations, those fits of ignorance and quarrelsomeness, which are the natural and inevitable failings of all free states, and on the other hand to promote unanimity and friendliness, and whatever impels a man to do his duty. All that also I have made my business: and herein no man can find any delinquency on my part. 18.247Let any man you like be asked by what means Philip achieved most of his successes: the universal reply will be, by his army and by bribing and corrupting politicians. Well, I had no control or authority over your forces, and therefore no question of their performances can touch me. Moreover, in the matter of corruption or purity I have beaten Philip. In bribery, just as the purchaser has vanquished the seller, whenever the bargain is struck, so the man who refuses the price and remains incorruptible has vanquished the purchaser. Therefore, in my person, Athens is undefeated.

18.248These, and such as these, with many others are the grounds furnished by my conduct to justify the proposal of the defendant. I will now mention grounds furnished by all of you. Immediately after the battle, in the very midst of danger and alarm, at a time when it would not have been surprising if most of you had treated me unkindly, the people, with a full knowledge of all my doings, in the first place, adopted by vote my proposals for the safety of the city. All those measures of defence—the disposition of outposts, the entrenchments, the expenditure on the fortifications—were taken on resolutions moved by me. In the second place, they appointed me Food Controller, selecting me from the whole body of citizens. 18.249Then the men who made it their business to injure me formed a cabal, and set in motion all the machinery of indictments, audits, impeachments, and the like—not at first by their own agency, but employing persons by whom they imagined they would be screened. You will remember how, during that early period, I was put on my trial every day; and how the recklessness of Sosicles, and the spite of Philocrates, and the frenzy of Diondas and Melantus, and everything else, were turned to account by them for my detriment. Nevertheless, by the favor, first of the gods, and secondly of you and the rest of the Athenians, I came through unscathed. And so I deserved. Yes; that is true, and to the credit of juries that had taken the oath and gave judgement according to their oath. 18.250When, on my impeachment, you acquitted me, and did not give the prosecutors the fifth part of your votes, your verdict implied approval of my policy. When I was indicted, I satisfied you that my proposals and my speeches had been constitutional. When you put the seal on my accounts, you further admitted that I had done my business honestly and without corruption. That being so, what description could Ctesiphon properly and honestly have applied to my conduct, other than that which he had seen applied by the whole nation and by sworn juries, and confirmed by the truth in the eyes of all men?

18.251Ah, says he, but look at that glorious boast of Cephalus—never once indicted! Yes, glorious, and also lucky. But why should a man who has been often indicted but never convicted be the more justly open to reproach? However, men of Athens, so far as Aeschines is concerned, I can repeat that glorious boast: for he never indicted me or prosecuted me on indictment; and so, by his own admission, I am no worse a citizen than Cephalus.

18.252At every point his morose and spiteful temper is conspicuous, and especially in what he said about fortune. As a general remark, I must say that it is a stupid thing for any human being to reproach his brother man on the score of fortune. Seeing that a man who thinks he is doing very well and regards himself as highly fortunate, is never certain that his good fortune will last till the evening, how can it be right to boast about it, or use it to insult other people? But, since Aeschines has treated this topic, like many others, so vaingloriously, I beg you to observe, men of Athens, that my discourse on fortune will be more veracious, and more suitable to a mere man, than his. 18.253I attribute good fortune to our city, and so, I observe, does the oracle of Zeus at Dodona; but the present fortune of all mankind I account grievous and distressing. Is there a man living, Greek or barbarian, who has not in these days undergone many evils? 18.254I reckon it as part of the good fortune of Athens that she has chosen the noblest policy, and that she is better off than the Greeks who expected prosperity from their betrayal of us. If she has been unsuccessful, if everything has not fallen out as we desired, I regard that as our appointed share in the general ill-fortune of mankind. 18.255My personal fortune, or that of any man among you, must, I imagine, be estimated in the light of his private circumstances. That is my view of fortune: a just and correct view, as it seems to me, and, I think, also to you. But he declares that a poor, insignificant thing like my individual fortune has been more powerful than the great and good fortune of Athens. Now how is that possible?

18.256If, Aeschines, you are determined at all costs to investigate my fortune, compare it with your own; and, should you find mine to be better than yours, stop your vilification. Begin your inquiry then at the beginning. And I beg earnestly that no one will blame me for want of generosity. No sensible man, in my judgement, ever turns poverty into a reproach, or prides himself on having been nurtured in affluence. But I am compelled by this troublesome man's scurrility and backbiting to deal with these topics; and I will treat them with as much modesty as the state of the case permits.

18.257In my boyhood, Aeschines, I had the advantage of attending respectable schools: and my means were sufficient for one who was not to be driven by poverty into disreputable occupations. When I had come of age, my circumstances were in accordance with my upbringing. I was in a position to provide a chorus, to pay for a war-galley, and to be assessed to property-tax. I renounced no honor able ambition either in public or in private life: and rendered good service both to the commonwealth and to my own friends. When I decided to take part in public affairs, the political services I chose were such that I was repeatedly decorated both by my own country and by many other Grecian cities and even my enemies, such as you, never ventured to say that my choice was other than honor able. 18.258Such has been my fortune throughout my career. I could tell you more, but I forbear, fearing to weary you with details in which I take some pride.

But do you—you who are so proud and so contemptuous of others— compare your fortune with mine. In your childhood you were reared in abject poverty. You helped your father in the drudgery of a grammar-school, grinding the ink, sponging the benches, and sweeping the school-room, holding the position of a menial, not of a free-born boy. 18.259On arriving at manhood you assisted your mother in her initiations, note reading the service-book while she performed the ritual, and helping generally with the paraphernalia. At night it was your duty to mix the libations, to clothe the catechumens in fawn-skins, to wash their bodies, to scour them with the loam and the bran, and, when their lustration was duly performed, to set them on their legs, and give out the hymn:

Here I leave my sins behind,

Here the better way I find; and it was your pride that no one ever emitted that holy ululation so powerfully as yourself. I can well believe it! When you hear the stentorian tones of the orator, can you doubt that the ejaculations of the acolyte were simply magnificent? 18.260In day-time you marshalled your gallant throng of bacchanals through the public streets, their heads garlanded with fennel and white poplar; and, as you went, you squeezed the fat-cheeked snakes, or brandished them above your head, now shouting your Euoi Saboi! now footing it to the measure of Hyes Attes! Attes Hyes!—saluted by all the old women with such proud titles as Master of the Ceremonies, Fugleman, Ivy-bearer, Fan-carrier; and at last receiving your recompense of tipsy-cakes, and cracknels, and currant-buns. With such rewards who would not rejoice greatly, and account himself the favorite of fortune?

18.261After getting yourself enrolled on the register of your parish—no one knows how you managed it; but let that pass—anyhow, when you were enrolled, you promptly chose a most gentlemanly occupation, that of clerk and errand-boy to minor officials. After committing all the offences with which you now reproach other people, you were relieved of that employment; and I must say that your subsequent conduct did no discredit to your earlier career. 18.262You entered the service of those famous players Simylus and Socrates, better known as the Growlers. You played small parts to their lead, picking up figs and grapes and olives, like an orchard-robbing costermonger, and making a better living out of those missiles than by all the battles that you fought for dear life. For there was no truce or armistice in the warfare between you and your audiences, and your casualties were so heavy, that no wonder you taunt with cowardice those of us who have no experience of such engagements.

18.263However, passing by things for which your poverty may be blamed, I will address myself to actual charges against your way of living. When in course of time it occurred to you to enter public life, you chose such a line of political action that, so long as the city prospered, you lived the life of a hare, in fear and trembling and constant expectation of a sound thrashing for the crimes that burdened your conscience: although, when every one else is in distress, your confidence is manifest to all men. note 18.264What treatment does a man, who recovered his high spirits on the death of a thousand of his fellow-citizens, deserve at the hands of the survivors? I shall omit a great many other facts that I might relate; for I do not think that I ought to recount glibly all his discreditable and infamous qualities, but only such as I may mention without discredit to myself.

18.265And now, Aeschines, I beg you to examine in contrast, quietly and without acrimony, the incidents of our respective careers: and then ask the jury, man by man, whether they would choose for themselves your fortune or mine. You were an usher, I a pupil; you were an acolyte, I a candidate; you were clerk-at-the-table, I addressed the House; you were a player, I a spectator; you were cat-called, I hissed; you have ever served our enemies, I have served my country. 18.266Much I pass by; but on this very day, I am on proof for the honor of a crown, and acknowledged to be guiltless; you have already the reputation of an informer, and the question at hazard for you is, whether you are still to continue in that trade, or be stopped for ever by getting less than your quota of votes. And that is the good fortune enjoyed by you, who denounce the shabbiness of mine!

18.267Let me now read to you the testimony of the public services I have rendered, and you shall read for comparison some of the blank-verse you used to make such a hash of: From gates of gloom and dwellings of the dead, note
Eur. Hec. 1
or, Tidings of woe with heavy heart I bear,
or, Oh cruel, cruel fate!
Such a fate may the gods first, and the jury afterwards, allot to you—for your citizenship is as worthless as your mummery. Read the depositions.Depositions

18.268Such has been my character in public life. In private life, if any of you are not aware that I have been generous and courteous, and helpful to the distressed, I do not mention it. I will never say a word, or tender any evidence about such matters as the captives I have ransomed, or the dowries I have helped to provide, or any such acts of charity. 18.269It is a matter of principle with me. My view is that the recipient of a benefit ought to remember it all his life, but that the benefactor ought to put it out of his mind at once, if the one is to behave decently, and the other with magnanimity. To remind a man of the good turns you have done to him is very much like a reproach. Nothing shall induce me to do anything of the sort; but whatever be my reputation in that respect, I am content.

18.270I have finished with private matters, but I have still some trifling remarks to offer on public affairs. If you, Aeschines, can name any human being, Greek or barbarian, on whom yonder sun shines, who has escaped all injury from the domination, first of Philip, and today of Alexander, so be it: I grant you that my fortune— or my misfortune, if you prefer the word—has been the cause of the whole trouble. 18.271But if many people, who have never set eyes on me or heard the sound of my voice, have been grievously afflicted—I do not mean as individuals, but whole cities and nations—I say it is vastly more honest and candid to attribute these calamities to the common fortune of mankind, or to some distressing and untoward current of events. 18.272Yet you dismiss those causes, and put the blame upon me, who only took part in politics by the side of my fellow-citizens here, although you must be conscious that a part, if not the whole, of your invective is addressed to all of them, and particularly to yourself. If I had held sole and despotic authority when I offered my counsels, it would have been open to you other orators to incriminate me: 18.273but inasmuch as you were present at every assembly, as the state proposed a discussion of policy in which every one might join, and as my measures were approved at the time by every one, and especially by you,—for it was in no friendly spirit that you allowed me to enjoy all the hopes and enthusiasm and credit that were attached to my policy, but obviously because truth was too strong for you, and because you had nothing better to suggest—it is most iniquitous and outrageous to stigmatize today measures which at the time you were unable to amend.

18.274Among other people I find this sort of distinction universally observed.—A man has sinned willfully: he is visited with resentment and punishment. He has erred unintentionally: pardon takes the place of punishment. Suppose that he has committed no sin or error at all, but, having devoted himself to a project approved by all, has, in common with all, failed of success. In that case he does not deserve reproach or obloquy, but condolence. 18.275This distinction will be found not only embodied in our statutes, but laid down by nature herself in her unwritten laws and in the moral sense of the human race. Now Aeschines so far surpasses all mankind in savagery and malignity that he turns even misadventures, which he has himself cited as such, into crimes for which I am to be denounced.

18.276To crown all—as though all his own speeches had been made in a disinterested and patriotic spirit—he bids you be on your guard against me, for fear I should mislead and deceive you, calling me an artful speaker, a mountebank, an impostor, and so forth. He seems to think that if a man can only get in the first blow with epithets that are really applicable to himself, they must be true, and the audience will make no reflections on the character of the speaker. 18.277But I am sure you all know him well, and will regard those epithets as more appropriate to him than to me. I am also sure that my artfulness—well, be it so; although I notice that in general an audience controls the ability of a speaker, and that his reputation for wisdom depends upon your acceptance and your discriminating favor. Be that as it may, if I do possess any skill in speaking, you will all find that that skill has always been exercised on public concerns and for your advantage, never on private occasions and to your detriment. On the other hand the ability of Aeschines is applied not only to speaking on behalf of your enemies, but to the detriment of anyone who has annoyed or quarrelled with him. He never uses it honestly or in the interests of the commonweal. 18.278No upright and honor able citizen must ever expect a jury impanelled in the public service to bolster up his own resentment or enmity or other passions, nor will he go to law to gratify them. If possible he will exclude them from his heart: if he cannot escape them, he will at least cherish them calmly and soberly. In what circumstances, then, ought a politician or an orator to be vehement? When all our national interests are imperilled; when the issue lies between the people and their adversaries. Then such is the part of a chivalrous and patriotic citizen. 18.279But for a man who never once sought to bring me to justice for any public, nor, I will add, for any private offence, whether for the city's sake or for his own, to come into court armed with a denunciation of a crown and of a vote of thanks, and to lavish such a wealth of eloquence on that plea, is a symptom of a peevish, jealous, small-minded, good-for-nothing disposition. And the exhibition of his turpitude is complete when he relinquishes his controversy with me, and directs the whole of his attack upon the defendant. 18.280It really makes me think, Aeschines, that you deliberately went to law, not to get satisfaction for any transgression, but to make a display of your oratory and your vocal powers. But it is not the diction of an orator, Aeschines, or the vigor of his voice that has any value: it is supporting the policy of the people, and having the same friends and the same enemies as your country. 18.281With such a disposition, a man's speeches will always be patriotic: but the man who pays court to those from whom the state apprehends danger to herself, is not riding at the same anchor as the people, and therefore does not look to the same quarter for his security. I do; mark that! My purposes are my countrymen's purposes; I have no peculiar or personal end to serve. 18.282Can you say the same? No, indeed! Why, immediately after the battle you went on embassy to visit Philip, the author of all the recent calamities of your country, although hitherto you had notoriously declined that employment. And who is the deceiver of his country? Surely the man who does not say what he thinks. For whom does the marshal read the commination? For him. What graver crime can be charged to an orator than that his thoughts and his words do not tally? In that crime you were detected; 18.283and yet you still raise your voice, and dare to look your fellow citizens in the face! Do you imagine that they do not know who you are? that they are sunk in such slumber and oblivion that they do not remember the harangues you made while the war was still going on, when you protested with oaths and curses that you had no dealings with Philip— that I had laid that charge against you out of private malice, and that it was not true? 18.284But no sooner had the news of the battle reached us than you ignored all your protests, and confessed, or rather claimed, that you were Philip's friend and Philip's guest—a euphemism for Philip's hired servant; for with what show of equality or honesty could Philip possibly be the host or the friend or even the acquaintance of Aeschines, son of Glaucothea the tambourinist ? I cannot see: but the truth is, you took his pay to injure the interests of your countrymen. And yet you, a traitor publicly convicted on information laid by yourself after the fact, vilify and reproach me for misfortunes for which you will find I am less responsible than any other man.

18.285Our city owes to me, Aeschines, both the inception and the success of many great and noble enterprises; nor was she unmindful. It is a proof of her gratitude that, when the people wanted one who should speak over the bodies of the slain, shortly after the battle, you were nominated but they did not appoint you, in spite of your beautiful voice, nor Demades, although he had recently arranged the peace, nor Hegemon, nor any of your party: they appointed me. Then you came forward, and Pythocles with you—and, gracious Heavens! how coarsely and impudently you spoke!—making the very same charges that you have repeated today; but, for all your scurrility, they appointed me nevertheless. 18.286You know very well why; but you shall hear the reason again from me. They were conscious both of the patriotism and energy with which I had conducted their business, and also of the dishonesty of you and your friends; for, when the city had made a false step, you had acknowledged relations which you had strenuously denied on oath in the days of prosperity. They conceived that men who found impunity for their ambitions in our national calamities had long been their secret, and were now their declared, enemies. 18.287They thought it becoming that the orator who should speak over the bodies of the slain, and magnify their prowess, should not be one who had visited the homes and shared the loving cup of their adversaries; that the man who in Macedonia had taken part with their murderers in revels and songs of exultation over the calamities of Greece, should not be chosen for high distinction at Athens; and that the chosen speaker should not lament their fate with the feigning voice of an actor, but express the mourning of his very soul. Such sympathy they discerned in themselves, and in me; but not in your party; and that is why they appointed me, and did not appoint you. 18.288The sentiments of the people were shared by those fathers and brothers of the dead who were chosen by the people to conduct the obsequies. In obedience to the custom that requires the funeral feast to be held in the home of the nearest relative of the dead, they ordered it to be held at my house; and with good reason. Each hero had some kinsman who by the ties of blood stood nearer to himself, but to the whole company of the fallen no man was nearer of kin than I. When they had met with their untimely fate, he who was most deeply concerned in their safety and their success, claimed the chief share in mourning for them all.

18.289Read for his benefit the epitaph, which the state resolved by public vote to inscribe upon their monument. Even from these verses, Aeschines, you may learn something of your own callousness, and malignity, and brutality. Read. Epitaph
Here lie the brave, who for their country's right
Drew sword, and put th' insulting foe to flight.
Their lives they spared not, bidding Death decide
Who flinched and lived, and who with courage died.
They fought and fell that Greece might still be free,
Nor crouch beneath the yoke of slavery.
Zeus spoke the word of doom; and now they rest
Forspent with toil upon their country's breast.
God errs not, fails not; God alone is great;
But man lies helpless in the hands of fate.

18.290Do you hear this admonition, that it is the gods alone who err not and fail not? It attributes the power of giving success in battle not to the statesman, but to the gods. Accursed slanderer! why do you revile me for their death? Why do you utter words which I pray the gods to divert to the undoing of your children and yourself?

18.291Among all the slanders and lies which he launched against me, men of Athens, what amazed me most was that, when he recounted the disasters that befell our city at that time, his comments were never such as would have been made by an honest and loyal citizen. He shed no tears; he had no emotion of regret in his heart; he vociferated, he exulted, he strained his throat. He evidently supposed himself to be testifying against me, but he was really offering proof against himself that in all those distressing events he had had no feeling in common with other citizens. 18.292Yet a man who professes such solicitude, as he has professed today, for our laws and constitution, whatever else he lacks, ought at least to possess the quality of sympathizing both with the sorrows and the joys of the common people; and, in choosing his political principles, he ought not to range himself with their enemies. But that is clearly what he has done, when he declares that I am responsible for everything, and that the city has fallen into trouble by my fault. 18.293Your policy of bearing succor to the Greeks did not originate in my statesmanship and my principles. If you were to acknowledge that my influence caused you to resist a despotism that threatened the ruin of Greece, you would bestow on me a favor greater than all the gifts you have ever conferred on anyone. I do not claim that favor; I cannot claim it without injustice to you: and I am certain that you will not grant it. If Aeschines had acted an honest part, he would never have indulged his spite against me by impairing and defaming the noblest of your national glories.

18.294But why reproach him for that imputation, when he has uttered calumnies of far greater audacity? A m an who accuses me of Philippism— Heaven and Earth, of what lie is he not capable? I solemnly aver that, if we are to cast aside lying imputations and spiteful mendacity, and inquire in all sincerity who really are the men to whom the reproach of all that has befallen might by general consent be fairly and honestly brought home, you will find that they are men in the several cities who resemble Aeschines, and do not resemble me. 18.295At a time when Philip's resources were feeble and very small indeed, when we were constantly warning, exhorting, admonishing them for the best, these men flung away their national prosperity for private and selfish gain; they cajoled and corrupted all the citizens within their grasp, until they had reduced them to slavery. So the Thessalians were treated by Daochus, Cineas, Thrasydaus, the Arcadians by Cercidas, Hieronymus, Eucampidas, the Argives by Myrtis, Teledamus, Mnaseas, the Eleians by Euxitheus, Cleotimus, Aristaechmus, the Messenians by the sons of that god-forsaken Philiades, Neon and Thrasylochus, the Sicyonians by Aristratus and Epichares, the Corinthians by Deinarchus and Demaretus, the Megarians by Ptoeodorus, Helixus, Perilaus, the Thebans by Timolaus, Theogeiton, Anemoetas, the Euboeans by Hipparchus, Cleitarchus, and Sosistratus. 18.296I could continue this catalogue of traitors till the sun sets. Every one of them, men of Athens, is a man of the same way of thinking in the politics of his own country as Aeschines and his friends are in ours. They too are profligates, sycophants, fiends incarnate; they have mutilated their own countries; they have pledged away their liberty in their cups, first to Philip, and now to Alexander. They measure their happiness by their belly and their baser parts; they have overthrown for ever that freedom and independence which to the Greeks of an earlier age were the very standard and canon of prosperity.

18.297Of this disgraceful and notorious conspiracy, of this wickedness, or rather, men of Athens, if I am to speak without trifling, this betrayal of the liberties of Greece, you—thanks to my policy—are guiltless in the eyes of the world, as I am guiltless in your eyes. And then, Aeschines, you ask for what merit I claim distinction! I tell you that, when all the politicians in Greece, starting with you, had been corrupted, first by Philip, and now by Alexander, 18.298neither opportunity, nor civil speeches, nor large promises, nor hope, nor fear, nor any other inducement, could provoke or suborn me to betray the just claims and the true interests of my country, as I conceived them; and that, whatever counsels I have offered to my fellow-citizens here, I have not offered, like you, as if I were a false balance with a bias in favor of the vendor. With a soul upright, honest and incorruptible, appointed to the control of more momentous transactions than any statesman of my time, I have administered them throughout in all purity and righteousness. 18.299On those grounds I claim this distinction. As for my fortifications, which you treated so satirically, and my entrenchments, I do, and I must, judge these things worthy of gratitude and thanks; but I give them a place far removed from my political achievements. I did not fortify Athens with masonry and brickwork: they are not the works on which I chiefly pride myself. Regard my fortifications as you ought, and you will find armies and cities and outposts, seaports and ships and horses, and a multitude ready to fight for their defence. 18.300These were the bastions I planted for the protection of Attica so far as it was possible to human forethought; and therewith I fortified, not the ring-fence of our port and our citadel, but the whole country. Nor was I beaten by Philip in forethought or in armaments; that is far from the truth. The generals and the forces of the allies were beaten by his good fortune. Have I any proofs of my claim? Yes, proofs definite and manifest. I ask you all to consider them.

18.301What course of action was proper for a patriotic citizen who was trying to serve his country with all possible prudence and energy and loyalty? Surely it was to protect Attica on the sea-board by Euboea, on the inland frontier by Boeotia, and on the side towards Peloponnesus by our neighbors in that direction; to make provision for the passage of our corn-supply along friendly coasts all the way to Peiraeus; 18.302to preserve places already at our disposal, such as Proconnesus, Chersonesus, Tenedos, by sending succor to them and by suitable speeches and resolutions; to secure the friendship and alliance of such places as Byzantium, Abydos, and Euboea; to destroy the most important of the existing resources of the enemy, and to make good the deficiencies of our own city. All these purposes were accomplished by my decrees and my administrative acts. 18.303Whoever will study them, men of Athens, without jealousy, will find that they were rightly planned and honestly executed; that the proper opportunity for each several measure was never neglected, or ignored, or thrown away by me: and that nothing within the compass of one man's ability or forethought was left undone. If the superior power of some deity or of fortune, or the incompetence of commanders, or the wickedness of traitors, or all these causes combined, vitiated and at last shattered the whole enterprise,—is Demosthenes guilty? 18.304If in each of the cities of Greece there had been some one man such as I was in my appointed station in your midst, nay, if Thessaly had possessed one man and Arcadia one man holding the same sentiments that I held, no Hellenic people beyond or on this side of Thermopylae would have been exposed to their present distresses: 18.305they would still be dwelling prosperously in their own countries, in freedom and independence, securely and without fear, grateful to you and to all the Athenians for the great and manifold blessings they owed to me. To prove that, as a precaution against envy, I am using words that do less than justice to my deeds, please take these papers, and read the list of expeditions sent in pursuance of my decrees.Number of Expeditions in Aid

18.306It was the duty, Aeschines, of an upright and honor able citizen to take these or similar measures. If they had been successful, we should have been, beyond controversy, the greatest of nations and a nation that deserved its greatness: and, though they have failed, there remains the result that our reputation stands high, and that no man can find fault with Athens or her policy, but lays the blame on the fortune that so ordered the issue. 18.307Assuredly it was not the duty of such a citizen to abandon the cause of his country, to take the hire of her adversaries, to wait on the occasions, not of Athens, but of her enemies. It was not his duty to look with an evil eye upon a man who had made it his business to support or propose measures worthy of our traditions, and was resolved to stand by such measures; nor to treasure vindictively the memory of private annoyances. Nor was it his duty to hold his peace dishonestly and deceptively, as you so often do. 18.308There is, indeed, a silence that is honest and beneficial to the city, such as is observed in all simplicity by the majority of you citizens. Not such, but far, far different, is the silence of Aeschines. Withdrawing himself from public life whenever he thinks fit—and that is very frequently—he lies in wait for the time when you will be weary of the incessant speaker, or when some unlucky reverse has befallen you, or any of those vexations that are so frequent in the life of mortal men; and then, seizing the occasion, he breaks silence and the orator reappears like a sudden squall, with his voice in fine training; he strings together the words and the phrases that he has accumulated, emphatically and without a pause; but, alas, they are all useless, they serve no good purpose, they are directed to the injury of this or that citizen, and to the discredit of the whole community. 18.309Yet if all that assiduous practice, Aeschines, had been conducted in a spirit of honesty and of solicitude for your country's well-being, it should have yielded a rich and noble harvest for the benefit of us all—alliances of states, new revenues, development of commerce, useful legislation, measures of opposition to our avowed enemies. 18.310In days of old all those services afforded the recognized test of statesmanship: and the time through which you have passed supplied to an upright politician many opportunities of showing his worth; but among such men you won no position—you were neither first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, nor anywhere in the race—at least when the power of your country was to be enlarged. 18.311What alliance does Athens owe to your exertions? What auxiliary expedition, what gain of amity or reputation? What embassy or service, by which the credit of the city has been raised? What project in domestic, Hellenic, or foreign policy, of which you took charge, has ever been successful? What war-galleys, or munitions, or docks, or fortifications, or cavalry, do we owe to you? Of what use in the wide world are you? What public-spirited assistance have you ever given to rich or to poor? None whatever. 18.312But come, sir, without any of these things a man may show patriotism and zeal. Where? When? Why, you incorrigible knave, even at the time when every man who ever spoke from the tribune gave freely to the national defence, when at last even Aristonicus gave the money he had collected to redeem his citizenship, you never came forward and put your name down for a farthing. And yet you were certainly not without means, for you had inherited more than five talents from the estate of your father-in-law Philo, and you had a present of two talents, subscribed by the chairmen of the Navy Boards, as a reward for spoiling the Navy Reform Bill. 18.313However, I will pass that by, for fear I should stray from my immediate purpose by telling one story after another. It is clear that you refused to contribute, not because you were poor, but because you were careful not to do anything in opposition to the party you serve in politics. Then on what occasions are you a man of spirit? When are you a shining light? Whenever something is to be said in prejudice of your fellow-citizens; then your voice is magnificent, then your memory is wonderful; then we hear the great tragedian, the Theocrines note of the legitimate drama.

18.314Then you remind us of the heroes of past generations. Quite right: but it is not fair, men of Athens, to take advantage of the affection you cherish for the departed, and analyze me, who am still living in your midst, by comparing me with them. 18.315Everybody knows that against the living there is always an undercurrent of more or less jealousy, while the dead are no longer disliked even by their enemies. Such is human nature; am I then to be criticized and canvassed by comparison with my predecessors? Heaven forbid! No, Aeschines; that is unfair and unjust: compare me with yourself, or with any living man you choose, whose principles are identical with yours. 18.316Consider this question: is it more decent and patriotic that for the sake of the services of men of old times, enormous as they were, nay, great beyond expression, the services that are now being rendered to the present age should be treated with ingratitude and vituperation, or that every man who achieves anything in a spirit of loyalty should receive some share of the respect and consideration of his fellow-citizens? 18.317If I must deal with that subject, I say that, if my policy and my principles are considered, they will be found to resemble in spirit and purpose those of the venerated names of antiquity. Yours are like those of the men who maligned them: for it is certain that, even in their days, there were men who were always carping at the living and commending the dead—a spiteful vocation, and just like yours. You tell me I am not at all like those great men. 18.318Are you like them, Aeschines? Or your brother? Or any other orator of this generation? In my opinion, none. Then, my honest friend— to call you nothing worse—assay a living man by the standard of living men, men of his own time. That is the test you apply to everything else—to dramatists, to choruses, to athletes. 18.319Philammon did not leave Olympia without a crown, because he was not so strong as Glaucus of Carystus, or other bygone champions: he was crowned and proclaimed victor, because he fought better than the men who entered the ring against him. You must compare me with the orators of today; with yourself, for instance, or anyone you like: I exclude none. 18.320When the commonwealth was at liberty to choose the best policy, when there was a competition of patriotism open to all comers, I made better speeches than any other man, and all business was conducted by my resolutions, my statutes, my diplomacy. Not one o f you ever put in an appearance— except when you must needs fall foul of my measures. But when certain deplorable events had taken place, and there was a call, not for counsellors, but for men who would obey orders, who were ready to injure their country for pay, and willing to truckle to strangers, then you and your party were at your post, great men with gorgeous equipages. note I was powerless, I admit; but I was still the better patriot.

18.321There are two traits, men of Athens, that mark the disposition of the well-meaning citizen;—that is a description I may apply to myself without offence. When in power, the constant aim of his policy should be the honor and the ascendancy of his country; and on every occasion and in all business he should preserve his loyalty. That virtue depends on his natural disposition: ability and success depend upon other considerations. 18.322Such, you will find, has been my disposition, abidingly and without alloy. Look at the facts. They demanded that I should be given up; they arraigned me before the Amphictyonic Council; they tried me with threats, they tried me with promises; they set these miscreants to worry me like a pack of wolves; but through it all I never renounced my loyalty to you. At the very outset of my career I had chosen once for all the path of political uprightness and integrity, and resolved to support, to magnify, and to associate myself with the honor, the power, and the glory of my native land. 18.323I do not perambulate the marketplace, gaily exulting in the good fortune of the alien, holding out my right hand, and telling the glad tidings to anyone I think likely to send word over yonder. When I hear of my country's successes, I do not shudder, and sigh, and hang down my head, like those blasphemers, who traduce Athens, forgetting that thereby they are traducing themselves; who turn their eyes abroad, and, when the alien has prospered by the distresses of Greece, applaud his good fortune, and declare that we must try to preserve it for ever.

18.324Never, O ye Powers of Heaven, never vouchsafe to them the fulfillment of that desire. If it be possible, implant even in them a better purpose and a better spirit; but, if their malady is incurable, consign them, and them alone, to utter and untimely destruction by land and sea, and to us who remain grant speedy deliverance from the terrors that hang over our heads, and a salvation that shall never fail.

Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Dem.].
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